Travellers and residents near Nakalama-Tirinyi-Mbale road in eastern Uganda have been left in excitement as the road takes new shape.
Residents and business operators in the neighborhood say the enthusiasm is partly due to the speed at which the road is being constructed.
The road under construction by Dott Services Ltd is about 99.23Kms with a contract duration of 25 months.
The contractor says more than 30kms have already been upgraded in a period of seven months which represents 30 percent of the work.
The residents are happy because they had fears that the contractual issues that had erupted between the employer (UNRA) and the contractor would make it impossible to have the road constructed and completed on time.
”We are very excited because the work is progressing on well and if the project proceeds at this pace, we shall have a smooth ride next year and we shall also be able to transport our perishable produce and food to Kampala and Mbale for market without serious transport challenges,” James Wandera, one of the businessmen at Nakalama trading centre said.
Mr Nathan Ngobi, a resident of Nakalama said the community members are happy that some of their relatives were able to secure jobs because of the road project.
“Several youth who were unemployed have been absorbed by the project.
I call upon the contractor to continue giving the first priority to our local people whenever they have job vacancies,” he added.
The infrastructure work will cut driving times,improve road safety and reduce congestion on the Iganga-Bugiri-Tororo route.
Upon completion, the Nakalama-Tirinyi – Mbale road will have two lanes with room for several extra climbing lanes.
The head of contracts at Dott services, Eng Jamesone Olonya said they are also happy that the issues that had created delays were resolved, the reason they intend to complete the road ahead of schedule.
He lauded UNRA’s current management for resolving issues that had crippled the project.
He claimed that it’s going to be one of the strongest roads in the country because it’s based on strong design and plans.
“Currently we have completed 32Kms of Asphalt Surface out of 99.2kms. The current status is approximately around 30 percent progress. We are reasonably ahead of schedule—given the Contract Agreement required that, after re-mobilization, we should complete 4Kms of Asphalt Surface per month from July 2018. Besides, we have completed Cross Drainage Works in nearly 70 kms stretch,” he said.
When contacted, Mr Allan Ssempebwa Kyobe, UNRA’s media relations manager said the contractor has completed about 33kms of the road and are now at the critical section of the road at Mpologoma swamp.
“Work is progressing well. There’s better and improved performance as compared to before. They have completed about 33kms out of 100kms of the contracted road. They are now working at the critical section of the road at Mpologoma swamp,” he said.
In March this year, minister for Works, Monica Ntege Azuba said the contract opens a new relationship between Dott Services and UNRA and thus the contractor ought to be given time to execute.
Sourced from The Monitor