Drivers crossing Karuma Bridge face arrest

During this closure, only passenger vehicles carrying up to 28 people will be allowed to use the bridge.

Kiryandongo: Police have threatened to arrest drivers of heavy vehicles who are insisting on crossing Karuma Bridge.

Julius Allan Hakiza, the Albertine Regional Police Spokesperson, told this publication that drivers who insist on using the bridge will be arrested and their vehicles impounded.

‘’We shall not tolerate drivers of heavy vehicles crossing a temporary closed Karuma bridge; they will face arrest and their vehicles impounded,’’ Hakiza said.

The Karuma Bridge, located in Kiryandongo district, Uganda, has been officially closed to heavy-load motor vehicles and trucks for a period of three months starting on Monday, May 6, 2024.

This decision was made by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) due to the deteriorating condition of certain elements of the bridge structure, particularly the concrete deck on the Kampala approach lane.

During this closure, only passenger vehicles carrying up to 28 people will be allowed to use the bridge.

All trucks, trailers, and buses are prohibited from crossing. UNRA’s goal is to ensure the safety of motorists and prevent further deterioration of the bridge due to heavy traffic.

Hakiza advised Motorists travelling from Kampala to Gulu/West Nile Region are advised to take the alternative route via Luwero-Kafu, Masindi-Paraa, and Murchison Falls National Park to connect to Pakwach or Gulu via Olwiyo.

Similarly, those coming from Lira should use the alternative route through eastern Uganda via Iganga, Nakalama, Tirinyi, Pallisa, Kumi, and Soroti.

UNRA is actively working to identify a competent contractor who will undertake the restoration of the bridge structure as quickly as possible. Additionally, the government is fast-tracking funding processes for the construction of a new bridge as a long-term solution.

The Karuma Falls Bridge, originally constructed in 1963, served as an important highway connecting the country to the northern region, particularly aiding cotton farmers in northern Uganda to cross the river.

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