Land acquisition challenges push Northern bypass expansion project four years ahead

Nelson Bwire Kapo

The ongoing second phase of the Kampala Northern Bypass which commenced in July 2014 with an original completion date of July 2017 will now shift another four years ahead after land wrangles crippled the project.

The project initially projected completion in three years, however by the end of November 2018, the physical progress stood at just 51 per cent.

Yesterday, the EU Head of Delegation in Uganda Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, The Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development Hon. Matia Kasaija, The State Minister for Works Gen. Katumba Wamala, The Executive Director UNRA Ms. Allen Kagina and the project team inspected ongoing works on the Kampala Northern Bypass expansion.

Following the inspection, a statement by UNRA was released detailing challenges delaying the completion of the project.

“The project has suffered significant delays due to lack of full rights of access to and possession of site and as such the contractor’s productivity and progress has been hindered. The challenges delaying the timely land acquisition arise from; design improvements, disputed compensation amounts by Project Affected Persons (PAPs), family disputes over ownership, absentee landlords. The Contractor has been urged to work around the obstacles to mitigate excessive delays,” the statement reads in part.

Mota Engil, the contractor for Northern bypass expansion project, takes officials on a tour of the project

UNRA promised to put to task their Land Acquisition team and legal teams to solve the identified land ownership and compensation challenges by the end of this year.

“The construction of the Kampala Northern Bypass is on course, implemented by a credible contractor and supervised by a competent project management team,” the statement continues.

Government through its implementing agency the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) undertook to construct the first phase of the Kampala Northern Bypass project between 2004 and 2009 with grant support from the European Union (EU) of EUR 52.2 million.

The current expansion of the Kampala Northern Bypass is the second phase of this highway construction project, following the completion of the first phase in October 2009, also co-financed by the Government of Uganda and the European Union through a EUR 40 million grant blended with a EUR 7.2 loan from the European Investment Bank.

The project is intended to improve urban mobility in and around Kampala through a capacity increase of the Northern Bypass and to relieve congestion on this vital Northern Corridor Route, reducing travel time and vehicle operating costs and improve road safety.

The project is intended to turn the bypass from the original 2-lane single carriageway road to 4-lane dual carriageway road through the construction of a 17.5km additional carriage way.

The expansion will also see; the construction of 3 new footbridges at Kyebando, Ntinda, and at Naalya. These are intended to allow safe crossing of pedestrians across the road, construction of 6 new grade separated interchanges at Sentema, Hoima, Gayaza, Bukoto – Kyebando, Ntinda and Naalya roads to separate the express traffic along the Northern Bypass from the adjoining traffic from the connecting roads and comprehensive road safety improvements such as; segregated facilities for cyclists and pedestrians and improved lighting.



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