Friday, 9 January 2015

Malaba-Bugiri highway closed to heavy trucks.Drive Hot News

A truck crosses the Ndaiga Bridge. 

The Malaba-Bugiri highway has been closed to heavy trucks after Ndaiga Bridge along River Malaba developed cracks and caved in.
The Uganda National Roads Authority station engineer in Tororo, Mr Chris Opuch, told Daily Monitor on Wednesday trucks weighing 20 tonnes had been barred from using the road.
“We have closed the Malaba-Bugiri highway to heavy trucks and we are waiting for a team of bridge engineers to advise us whether we should close the road to all traffic,” he said.
The decision to close the road was reached on Tuesday after a team from the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) visited the site and assessed the extent of the damage. The closed road is an artery for trade along the Northern Corridor and a major route for goods entering the Great Lakes region.
The cause
Mr Opuch said the damage had been caused by erosion of the main pillars of the bridge which was constructed more than 40 years ago.
He explained that the erosion had been escalated by increased volume of waters in River Malaba, following the recent heavy rains across the country.
Following the closure of the road, Mr Opuch said some of the trucks had been diverted through Busitema and Busia while others would go through Malaba, Tororo and Mbale.
Bukedi Region Police spokesperson, Mr Michael Odongo, said police would enforce the UNRA directive to avert accidents.
“The police isn’t going to wait for disaster to enforce this directive. From now on we shall not allow any trucks weighing 20 tonnes and above to use the route,” Mr Odongo said.
Previous renovations
In July 2011, government allocated Shs120 billion for the rehabilitation of Busia-Bugiri-Malaba Highway. According to Mr Dan Alinange, the Uganda National Roads Authority communications manager, the rehabilitation works included tarmacking the road and opening the blocked drainage channel.