UNRA urged to expedite repairs at Karuma Bridge

Kampala: The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, has indeed raised important concerns regarding the urgent repairs for the Karuma Bridge.

The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) recently announced the temporary closure of the Karuma Bridge in Kiryandongo district due to a significant deterioration in its structure.

This closure affects heavy vehicles such as buses, trucks, and trailers. Only passenger vehicles carrying up to 28 passengers are currently allowed to use the bridge.

UNRA emphasized that the sustained exposure of the bridge to heavy traffic could accelerate its deterioration and affect its functionality if not addressed promptly.

As a result, they have initiated the process of identifying a competent contractor to swiftly restore the bridge structure. The repairs are expected to be completed within three months.

Speaker Anita Among expressed concerns about the financial implications resulting from the bridge closure. She urged UNRA to prioritize and expedite the repair process to minimize delays faced by road users during the ongoing maintenance.

Jonathan Odur, the MP for Erute South, pointed out that the government disregarded expert warnings about the impact of the Karuma Dam on the Karuma Bridge. Neglecting these warnings has significantly reduced the bridge’s lifespan.

Feasibility studies should have considered the bridge’s vulnerability, especially as it deteriorated rapidly. Unfortunately, despite raising this issue during the 10th Parliament, no action was taken.

The closure of the Karuma Bridge not only affects transportation but also imposes costs on people using the road. Businesses and individuals are likely to face significant challenges during this period.

Martin Ojara Mapenduzi (Bardege-Layibi Division Member of Parliament) and Ababiku Jessica (Adjumani District Woman MP) have requested that Gen. Katumba Wamala, the Minister of State for Transport and Works, provide an update to Parliament on the current situation regarding the bridge.

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