By Stephen Kalema
President Museveni on Wednesday commissioned the Source of the Nile Bridge Jinja District.
The 525-metre long cable-stayed bridge, also referred to as the The New Jinja Bridge is the second of its kind in East Africa after Tanzania’s 680-metre long Kigamboni Bridge. The fan-shaped bridge flies over River Nile and is expected to have a life span of 120 years. It boasts a dual carriageway that is 7.0m wide with a pedestrian walk way of 2.25m wide on both ends.
It’s almost four-year construction cost about $112m (about Shs41.1b) with the government of Uganda contributing 20 per cent while the rest was a soft loan got from Japanese government.
At the commissioning ceremony yesterday, President Museven congratulated Allen Kagina and her team at Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) for a marvellous job done. He also commended the Government of Japan for the successful partnership with Uganda.
“This ceremony is one of the manifestations of the NRM Government success of the partnership between the Government of Uganda and Japan. The Government of Japan has been a partner with Uganda for the last 60 years,” President Museveni said.
Before Independence, the President continued, Uganda was filled with cars from England here.
“However, now Uganda has cars from many countries including Japan. It’s good therefore that they [Japan] have also returned the favour to us with working with us on the Source of the Nile Bridge project,” the President, who was accompanied by Minister for Works and transport, Monica Azuba Ntegge, among other dignitaries said.
Japan is also upgrading Nimule road.
“Today is another major milestone towards the upgrade of the most important corridor route in Uganda, East Africa and the Northern Corridor,” he said.
On her part, Ms Azuba said; “The completed bridge structure is an iconic signature structure. It’s features and strategic location near the Source of the River Nile presents tourists and resort advantages to the benefit of national development.”
Allen Kagina, the Executive Director at Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) said, “The Source of Nile Bridge is one of the most beautiful and iconic bridges in Africa.”
It’s the fifth longest cable-stayed bridge in Africa behind Egypt’s Suez Canal Bridge (3,900), Lekki Ikoyi Bridge in Nigeria (1,360m), Mohammed VI Bridge in Morocco (950m) and Tanzania’s Kigamboni.