UNRA has expressed concern over the rate at which motorists are already misusing and vandalising the newly commissioned Kampala-Entebbe expressway.
The 49.5 km long road, the first ever expressway in Uganda was commissioned in June this year, five and a half years since its construction began. It cost Uganda USD 467 million.
But even before the toll road has officially been opened for use, UNRA is reporting a high rate of misuse by motorists.
Reuben Tumwebaze, the Director Roads Infrastructure Protection at UNRA told reporters on Tuesday that many motorists are driving beyond the recommended speed on the expressway.
“We are finding a big challenge. Ugandans have not yet learnt how to use express highways. So, we find a lot of chaos,” Tumwebaze said.
“The recommended speed for this particular expressway is 100km/h, but some people are driving at 160km/h. And we see lot of accidents. We see lot of scratches and bangs on the protection features,” he added.
According to Tumwebaze, driving beyond the recommended speed places motorists at too much risk as the road is not designed to protect them beyond certain speed limits.
He said that the road entity is working with traffic Police to carry out sensitization, to teach Ugandans how to use expressways, including how to read the marks since such roads have unique signages.
The Director also commented on the rate of vandalism happening on the same expressway including stealing of the wire fence.
“Some Ugandans have started stealing our road furniture. About 300 metres of our fence has been stolen, and more,” Tumwebaze told journalists.
“If we are crying for middle income status, there are certain behaviors that are not acceptable of us”.
He however could not quantify the financial loss suffered by government as a result of vandalism particularly on Kampala-Entebbe expressway.
Across the entire nationwide road network, he said that a sum of Shs 1 billion had been lost in acts of vandalism in the one year period that ended in June 2018.
However, some of the individuals found culpable have replaced the damaged infrastructure while others are serving time in jail, he said.
“We have people in Kayunga who unbolted our metalic culverts. You can imagine, that someone is ready to see a road collapse. These particular people were apprehended and one of them is serving a seven-year sentence”.
UNRA revealed plans to light up the remaining sections of the expressway, especially the interchanges, toll plazas.
“We are designing another small procurement to include the instalment of all lights throughout. This same procurement will put in place cameras along the road,” Samuel Muhoozi, the Director Roads and Bridges said.
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