UNRA Predicts More Collapse of Lwera Road Stretch
Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA is predicting collapses of several road sections of the Kampala-Masaka highway in Lwera until the entire stretch is reconstructed. For the past five years, the 20-kilometer road section that runs between Mpigi to Kalungu district has repeatedly broken down due to the consistent collapse of culverts that were used during the major refurbishment works in 2013.
The road often breaks down towards Easter and Christmas festive seasons hence paralyzing traffic flow and putting the thousands of lives of road users at risk. Over the weekend, UNRA closed the road to allow its engineers to fix a section that had collapsed almost in the middle of Lwera wetland. Allan Kyobe Ssempebwa, the Media Relation Manager at UNRA indicates that the Authority is yet to find a permanent solution to the recurrent problem.
He says that the engineers have continuously monitored the road for defects and that their technical assessment reports recommend that the entire stretch through Lwera wetland is reworked if the road is to be protected from further collapses.
The affected road stretch runs through a low-laying swamp, whose water catchment has also been badly compromised by sand mining and rice growing. Human activities, according to Ssempebwa involve the use of heavy machinery that compromises the stability of the road, which affects the culverts.
Ssempebwa says that they will continue carrying out routine maintenance of the collapsing road sections until the government provides them with a budget that caters to major works on the entire stretch. He says that they have notified the Ministries of Works and Transport and Finance and Economic Monitoring about the problem and that Authority is still waiting on the response from the government.
Denis Mugisha, a Seasoned Civil Engineer in Kampala challenges UNRA to expedite the process of working on the road to avert any nasty eventualities that may occur. According to Mugisha, the contractor omitted key aspects in the road design at the construction stages, which affects the road surface.
He says that the road has already developed several warps within its surface, an indication that materials underneath are either deformed or tilted and can break down anytime. “This is a very busy road with heavy traffic flow. The engineers would have put that aspect in their minds, such that they can come up with a very firm road capable of withstanding any compression to last longer, like is it done on bridges,” he said.