By Our Reporter
Other than becoming the second gateway to the Eastern part of Uganda after the Owen Falls Bridge, UNRA believes the new bridge has the ability to become a major tourist attraction because of its spectacular shape.
President Yoweri Museveni has commissioned the New Source of the Nile Bridge in Jinja today (Wednesday). The spectacular bridge crossing the Nile River has been under construction since 2014, with funding from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the government of Uganda.
The 525m long cable-stayed New Nile bridge, also referred to as the Source of The Nile Bridge is the second of its kind in East Africa after Tanzania’s 680m-long Kigamboni Bridge.
President Museveni, alongside the 1st Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Museveni, Hon Monica Azuba Ntegge the Minister for Works and Transport and H.E Kazuaki Kameda the Ambassador of Japan to Uganda congratulated Mrs Allen Kagina and her team at Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) for a marvelous job well done at the source of the Nile bridge.
He also commended the Japanese government for the successful partnership with the government of Uganda.
“This ceremony is one of the manifestations of the NRM Govt success of the partnership between the Govt of Uganda and Japan. The Govt of Japan has been a partner with Uganda for the last 60 years,” said President Museveni.
The president said that, before Independence it was only cars from England here. However, we now have cars from many countries including Japan.
“It’s good therefore that they [Japan] have also returned the favour to us with working with us on the Source of the Nile Bridge project,” the president added.
The president also commended the Japanese Government for upgrading Nimule road, and accepting to work with Uganda on the Kampala Flyover construction project.
After the World Bank financed Pre-Investment Study for this New Bridge in 2005, a Feasibility Study funded by JICA was undertaken from August 2008 to November 2009.
As a result of the sensitivity analysis for the various combinations of bridge type, the study concluded that the most feasible bridge type is a cable stayed bridge which will best align at 500m upstream of Nalubaale Dam with river width of 300m.
It has a dual carriageway 7.0m wide with a pedestrian walk way of 2.25m wide on both ends.
Constructed at a cost of $112m (about sh41.1b), the Source of Nile Bridge has fan shaped single plane stay cables and inverted Y Pylon just like other iconic cable-stayed bridges elsewhere in the world. It is expected to have a life span of 120 years.
This Bridge is the fifth longest cable-stayed bridge in Africa behind Egypt’s Suez Canal Bridge (3,900), Lekki Ikoyi Bridge in Nigeria (1,360m), Mohammed VI Bridge in Morocco (950m) and Tanzania’s Kigamboni.
Hon. Monica Azuba Ntegge, the Minister for Works & Transport noted that the ceremony for commissioning the Source of the Nile Bridge today is another major milestone towards the upgrade of the most important corridor route in Uganda, East Africa and the Northern Corridor.
“The completed bridge structure is an iconic signature structure. Its features and strategic location near the source of the River Nile presents tourists and resort advantages to the benefit of national development” said Monica Azuba.
Allen Kagina, the Executive Director at Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), on her part contends that, “The Source of Nile Bridge is one of the most beautiful and iconic bridges in Africa.
“One of the aims of constructing this bridge was enhancing tourism with addition of this iconic signature bridge in this picturesque location,” Eng. Samuel Muhoozi, the Director of Roads and