NEWS EDITOR MEDIA
KYABAHANGA bridge connecting Rukungiri to Kanungu district has been commissioned this morning by security minister Hon.Gen. Jim Muhwezi, thanks to the Ministry of Works and Transport.
Works was tendered out in April 24, 2019 to a local contractor M/s Armpass Technical Services.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Works and Transport, the contract was originally worth UGX 10.4 billion. The commencement date was July 30, 2019 while the original completion date was supposed to be July 29, 2020.
The main structure was to comprise of a 3-span 30m long reinforced concrete bridge; with other works to include significant river training and channel protection using gabions. It is important to note that River Kyabahanga has a considerable catchment area.
“Consequently, the river flow at the bridge location was found to be very high during rainy seasons. Apart from this, there were other site conditions that posed technical challenges while deriving an appropriate structure to be constructed.” Reads a statement from the Ministry.
Challenges included the meandering nature of the river, and the huge deposits of soil that had left stable foundation layers buried to significant depths.
Mainly as a result of the inconsistent nature and apparent weak foundation soils, provision was made in the contract for design review following additional geotechnical investigations in the river course.
These had to take place after a platform for the drilling rig is constructed. Although it took some time, the design review was successfully done and revised drawings were subsequently approved and issued to the contractor.
This news website has learnt that, the contractor had substantially completed works by December, 2020 and vehicles could pass at the bridge.
This was inspite of delays mainly occasioned by unprecedented weather and effects of the covid-19 pandemic.
Accodingly 4.4 km and 10.4 km on the Rukungiri and Kanungu sides respectively were graded; with spot gravelling.
“In this respect, we would like to sincerely thank the Contractor for very good performance exhibited. This goes a long way in demonstrating that the local construction industry has high potential; especially if local firms possess self determination to synergize with Governments policy of promoting local content.” Reads statement from the Ministry.
The construction of the bridge has had profound benefits to the communities, including;
● Reduced travel distance, culminating in reduced fares and freight charges;
● Improved and safe access to social facilities like schools for children and health facilities especially for the most vulnerable groups; i.e children and pregnant mothers;
● Improved access to markets for timber and agricultural produce like matooke and coffee;
● Increase in farm gate prices;
● Boosting tourism; and
● Generally contributing to improvement in the livelihoods of the populace; a key Government objective in the current NDPIII.
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