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Deputy Speaker Tayebwa Calls for Explanation on Delayed Completion of Mpigi-Busega Expressway

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Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa has raised concerns over the prolonged delays in the construction of the Mpigi-Busega Expressway, urging the authorities at the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to provide a detailed explanation for the sluggish progress.

Tayebwa, along with a team of legislators from the Physical Infrastructure and National Economy committees, conducted an inspection of ongoing construction works at the Katonga Bridge and the Mpigi-Busega Expressway road. Tayebwa expressed disappointment, remarking that the project, which is only 30% complete, is far behind schedule.

Having been involved in the approval process for the project back in 2016, Tayebwa highlighted that the envisaged completion by 2021 has not materialized, and the progress is significantly slower than expected.

The 35-kilometer project, co-funded by the African Development Fund (ADF) and the African Development Bank (ADB) at a cost of Shs547.5 billion, was awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation in a joint venture with China Railway 19th Bureau Group (U) Ltd.

Tayebwa, during a guided tour in Buloba, Kyengera, warned that the delay and deviation from the initial plan have led to traffic challenges. He emphasized the project’s purpose and stressed the importance of its linkage to other vital road networks.

The legislators further underscored the significance of the expressway, which was initially intended to reduce travel time between Busega and Mpigi to a mere 18 minutes, highlighting the current unpredictability of travel duration due to the delayed construction.

UNRA Executive Director Allen Kagina explained to the Deputy Speaker and committee members that the delays were due to a combination of geological and technical issues. The original alignment, she noted, would have impacted existing settlements and infrastructure, necessitating a shift in the expressway’s path.

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The inspection also involved reviewing ongoing works at the Katonga Bridge, where progress was noted to be promising. The new bridge is intended to redirect traffic from the previously damaged bridge and is expected to serve as a crucial link for cargo trucks and passenger vehicles heading towards the capital and neighboring countries.

Eng. Samuel Muhoozi, the UNRA director of Roads and Bridges, assured that efforts were underway to ensure the completion of a temporary bridge by Christmas this year as a crucial step in maintaining traffic flow until the permanent structure is erected.

The delayed completion of the expressway was also highlighted by Mawokota North MP Hillary Kiyaga (NUP), who voiced concerns about the impact on local residents, particularly issues with drainage that result in flooding during rainy periods.

Efforts continue to address the challenges hindering the timely completion of this critical transportation infrastructure, with a focus on resolving technical issues and ensuring progress in the coming months

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