Kampala, Uganda | ENTEBBENEWS.NET | The rehabilitation of the Kampala-Namanve railway is finally entering the last phase. This stretch, which is part of the Kampala-Mukono line was scheduled for completion in September, but “unforeseen circumstances” delayed it, according to John Linonn Sengendo, the Uganda Railways Corporation (URC) spokesman.
He said, the works initially encountered resistance from encroachers who were not willing to relinquish the land they had occupied to pave the way for the works. Other challenges faced include the heavy rains, and the clashing of programs with other government agencies especially with a focus on rehabilitation roads as a priority.
As works commence on the Mukwano Road railway crossing, the last of the crossings, the URC is hopeful the new deadline of December will be met for the Kampala-Namanve stretch.
Mukwano Road level crossing will also be temporarily closed from Friday 1 to Saturday, 16 December 2023 to allow for works on that railway section to commence. To minimise traffic challenges there, URC says a temporary diversion route connecting Mukwano Roundabout to Jinja Road was being prepared “for light vehicles, motorcycles, and pedestrians.
This point is a major traffic spot and also a notorious one for congestion for as it links the Central Business District and some of the busiest suburbs of Industrial Area, Namwongo, Kibuli and beyond.
URC accused some service providers that are digging up their embankment and reserve to lay cables without prior approval, causing delays to their works.
The Wankoko crossing along the Spring Road was completed Monday.
Meanwhile, construction of the line, specifically laying off the clipers and rails has reached Nakawa, with the Nakawa-Namboole stretch awaiting the laying of the ballast (stone) and level.
This time around, URC is using concrete sleepers instead of steel ones, saying they are more durable, allow for greater stability and are hard to vandalise. The Namanve-Mukono lef of reconstruction starts next year, according to a plan being implemented by Spanish firm Imathia Construction at a cost of about sh101 billion. However, URC says the delays that have been encountered are increasing the cost of the project.