EastAfrica

Karuma Bridge: Temporary Closure for Safety Repairs

What you need to know more about

  • The construction of a new steel and concrete bridge, funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency with an estimated cost of 100 million dollars, is slated to commence post-2026.
  • Located along the Kampala-Gulu highway, the bridge’s closure necessitates the redirection of heavy vehicles such as lorries, trailers, and buses exceeding a weight limit of 7 tons.

Karuma Bridge has been shut down for heavy vehicle traffic due to repair needs. Only passenger vehicles with fewer than 28 occupants will be permitted to cross the bridge, effective from Monday, May 6th, 2024, for a duration of three months. The decision stems from an evaluation conducted by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), which identified structural cracks posing potential risks.

Located along the Kampala-Gulu highway, the bridge’s closure necessitates the redirection of heavy vehicles such as lorries, trailers, and buses exceeding a weight limit of 7 tons. These vehicles will be directed to an alternative route passing through Luweero, Kafu, Masindi, and Para in Murchison Falls National Park to access West Nile and Northern Uganda.

State Minister for Works and Transport, Must Ecweru, emphasized the importance of the decision, stating, “While not ideal, this measure is essential for ensuring public safety. We appeal to the public for patience during the repair period.”

The structural issues are attributed to bearing failure, necessitating replacements. The closure coincides with plans for a complete reconstruction of the bridge, which was initially erected in 1963. The construction of a new steel and concrete bridge, funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency with an estimated cost of 100 million dollars, is slated to commence post-2026.

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