The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has announced the temporary closer of Kazinga Channel Bridge at Katunguru on the Kasese-Katunguru-Ishaka Road for emergency rehabilitation work.
The closure is expected to last up to early September this year. During this period, a ferry will be provided to operate as an alternative means of transport, UNRA said in a statement.
The ferry will be carrying light vehicles and passengers not exceeding 50 to cross. However heavy load carriers and buses have been diverted to use alternative routes.
“This ferry is not permitted to carry heavy loads like trailers and buses which usually carry heavy cargo in their undercarriages,” reads the statement.
By press time, there was big hole between the deck of the bridge where one can easily pass through and drop into the water as it goes on expanding.
Allan Ssempebwa Kyobe, the senior media relations officer of UNRA said on phone that they plan to finish the work by September 2.
He said the widening hole between the bridge was a big risk for both motorists and the local community.
But Espérence Mwamba, a truck driver in Mpondwe, says the closing of the bridge increases both the cost of transport and time for him to reach Mbarara.
In 2019, traffic on the same route was diverted for nearly three weeks after the bridge was damaged.
The Katunguru bridge was first constructed in 1954 and repaired in 1988.
The 32 kilometre Kazinga Channel links Lake Edward and George and is a dominant feature of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Several taxis, buses and heavy trucks cross the bridge daily into Western and South western Uganda to DR Congo and Rwanda. URN