The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has contracted Terrain Services Limited to reconstructthree bridges in West Nile that were in a state of disrepair.
The works will cost Shs 29.5 billion.
The bridges are Alaa in Vurra Sub County, Gazi and Acha in Ogoko Sub County.
The Acha Bridge was constructed in 1953, but recently a loaded truck from Rhino Camp Refugee camp attempted to cross over, plunged in the river, causing injuries to two occupants and breaking the bridge.
Similarly, in March 2012, a truck plunged into River Alaa in Vurra and killed 24 traders who were returning from the market,
Constructed in 1950 using a combination of timber and metal, Gazi Bridge is also on the verge of collapsing.
While handing over the sites to the contractor, William Amanya, the project engineer, said that the entire project of the three bridges is going to be handled concurrently and is expected to be complete within three years.
“It is a contract designed in such a way that the contractor does the design, we approve it and then he starts the construction in six months’ time,” Amanya said.
He said that they might delay with the designs but they want to ensure that they serve a purpose which is longevity of the bridges
“The bridges are supposed to serve for 120 years. This will be able to accommodate all classes of vehicles expected to move on any road in Uganda. So it is going to be designed for heavy and light traffic, it’s going to be wide enough to accommodate two cars plus walk ways,” he said.
Micah Omalla, the project manager at Terrain Services limited said that they are so keen on the specific scope because of the life span of the bridges
“This means that we have to do a thorough investigation before we undertake the designs. Gazi Bridge is now 18m but according to our assessment we are constructing a 25m bridge with a clear span and enough space to accommodate the projected volumes of water,” Omalla said.
The residents asked UNRA to work on the bridges first by constructing alternative routes so that their lives are not put in danger