Katonga Bridge along the Kampala-Masaka Highway will be opened to the public on Friday.
In May, severe floods resulting from heavy torrential rains submerged and washed away the bridge causing significant disruptions to transportation, trade, and commerce along the Masaka – Kampala highway.
The floods also compelled motorists traveling from Kampala to utilize the Mpigi-Butambala-Ssembabule Road, while those from Masaka have been relying on the Masaka-Ssembabule Road as an alternative route for transport.
In response to providing a quick fix, the Government contracted China Communications Construction Company – CCC Ltd in June to build a temporary steel bridge at Katonga River to divert traffic as the company reconstructs the damaged section.
Eng. Samuel Muhoozi, the Director of Roads and Bridge Development at the Uganda National Roads Authority – UNRA confirmed that the temporary bridge is ready for use and will be capable of carrying up to 60 tonnes of load at any given time.
According to Eng. Muhoozi, the reconstruction of the Katonga Bridge will last two years. The Kampala Report understands the government awarded over 150 billion Shillings in contracts to CCCC to undertake the engineering works.
The temporary steel bridge is 100 meters long and will be a cardinal passage for an estimated 30,000 vehicles that cross it every day.
The Kampala-Masaka highway links Uganda to neighboring Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo – DRC among others.
In November, Members of Parliament on the Infrastructure Committee raised concerns over the delayed work and several extension dates on the bridge which has stifled trade and commerce along the route.