The Cabinet Minister for National Security and Member of Parliament for Rujumbura County, Rukungiri District officially commissioned Kyabahanga Bridge on the 24th of Feb, 2022.
Kyabahanga Bridge is at the border between Rukungiri and Kanungu Districts. On the Rukungiri side is Karuhisi village in Irima Parish, Kicuzi Sub county while on the Kanungu side is Kagarama Village in Kyabakara Parish, Kyabakara Sub-county. The bridge provides access across River Kyabahanga.
Kyabahanga Bridge was constructed under the Rural Bridges Infrastructure Development Project, a flagship project introduced in FY 2019/2021, fully funded by the government of Uganda and implemented through the Ministry of Works and Transport.
The works for the construction of the Bridge commenced on 30th July 2019 and works were substantially completed by 2020. The contract works were tendered to M/s Armpass Technical Services to undertake construction works of the bridge at a contract amount of UGX 10.4 billion.
The main structure comprised of a 3-span 30m long reinforced concrete bridge, significant river training and channel protection using gabions.
While the original completion date was 29 July, 2020, River Kyabahanga’s considerable catchment area, its meandering nature and huge deposits of soil that left the stable foundation layers buried to significant depths posed technical challenges in the construction of the Bridge.
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 would have to take place after a platform for the drilling rig would be constructed.
Additionally, 4.4 km and 10.4 km on the Rukungiri and Kanungu sides respectively were graded; with spot gravelling.
While addressing the gathering at the bridge commissioning, Maj.Gen. Jim Muhwezi commended the local construction company’s professional execution of the contract.
“In this respect, I would like to sincerely thank the Contractor for a 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”, Said the Cabinet Minister.
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.
The Engineer in Chief, Samson Bagonza, represented the Permanent Secretary at the occasion. He noted that the two districts communities now have improved access to markets for timber and agricultural produce like matooke and coffee, and will observe an increase in farm gate prices, a boost in tourism and a general improvement in the livelihoods of the populace.
“Prior to the construction of Kyabahanga Bridge, there had not been any engineered crossing; and the locals kept constructing makeshift structures using timber logs to straddle the two banks. As would be expected, these were frequently washed away during peak of rainy seasons; and worse still their risky nature would occasionally lead to some deaths,” he said.