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Karuma Bridge Closed for Heavy Load Trucks, Buses over Defects

Karuma Bridge

Karuma Bridge will be closed to heavy-load motor vehicles and trucks for the next three months, as the Uganda National Roads Authority restores the deteriorating parts of the bridge.

This follows a technical assessment conducted by UNRA engineers that established some elements of the bridge structure, for instance, the concrete deck,  had deteriorated on the Kampala approach lane.

In a traffic advisory released last evening, UNRA stated the bridge will be closed to all lorries, trailers, and buses, with effect from Monday, May 6. The roads authority said only passenger vehicles carrying 28 people or less would be allowed to continue using the bridge.

“The continued exposure of the bridge to the ever-increasing heavy traffic is likely to increase its deterioration and serviceability if not addressed in time,” the statement read in part.

UNRA stated that it has commenced the process of identifying a competent contractor who will undertake the restoration of the bridge structure as quickly as possible.

Allan Ssempebwa, UNRA’s Media Relations Manager said that the advisory is intended to ensure the safety of motorists.

“…All heavy trucks shall be diverted to different routes. Only lighter passenger vehicles will be permitted, and this is to ensure that we safeguard the safety of motorists and their goods,” Ssempebwa said.

Motorists from Kampala heading to Gulu/West Nile Region have now been advised to take the alternative route of Luwero-Kafu, Masindi-Paraa, Murchison Falls National Park to connect to Pakwach or Gulu Via Olwiyo, and vice versa for motorists from Gulu/West Nile.

Meanwhile, motorists from Lira have been advised to use the alternative route through eastern Uganda through the areas of Iganga, Nakalama-Tirinyi-Pallisa-Kumi-Soroto-Lira, and Vice Versa.

UNRA said the government is currently fast-tracking the processes of securing funding for the construction of a new bridge as a long-term solution. The bridge closure comes just two months after UNRA conducted quality inspections on the 61-year-old bridge as it plans the construction of a new one.

Karuma Bridge serves as an important highway connecting the country to the Northern region.

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