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Traffic diverted as UNRA starts final works on New Nile Bridge in Jinja

Japenese officiial look on as the Transport Minister Eng Ntege Azuba lays a milestone at the joining of the Girder at the Source of the Nile Bridge in April 2018. (FILE PHOTO)

JINJA – Traffic has been diverted as the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) begins putting the final layer on New Nile Bridge in Jinja.

The asphalt, earlier put on the road was not marching with waterproofing metals or materials and was wearing off, raising public concerns that the newly constructed bridge was developing cracks.

But on Sunday, UNRA diverted traffic from Kampala to the Old Nalubaale Bridge as they began replacing the asphalt with a new layer. Vehicles from Jinja are diverted to the new bridge lanes of Kampala to join  Nile Breweries Limited to Kampala and  Kayunga respectively.

The Resident Project Engineer, Eng Morris Odoch, when contacted, confirmed the development but could not provide details, saying said he is engaged.

When the layer began wearing off in January,  UNRA’s media relations manager Allan Sempebwa said that there was no cause for alarm as it is a deliberate method of construction used by the contractors.

According to him, the wearing course seen and referred to as ‘bumpy’ or cracked by a section of the public is a non-structural attachment and therefore not a defect on the bridge.

“It’s to be replaced with permanent asphalt as soon as investigation on structural behaviour is concluded and baseline data is formed. This will be done within the defect liability period before contractor leaves the site. At the moment, the Contractor has completed all the tests and has embarked on plans to start the application of permanent asphalt on the bridge deck but as a contractual requirement, they are preparing a trial section of asphalt on the bridge at the length of approximately 100m on both approaches of the bridge,” he said.

The New Nile Bridge, constructed at UGX399b, was commissioned on October 17, 2018, by President Museveni and it has life span of  120 years.

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