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    UNRA Announces Traffic Diversions at Karuma Bridge to Safeguard Public Safety

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    UNRA Announces Traffic Diversions at Karuma Bridge to Safeguard Public Safety
    • May 23, 2024 • 24 days ago
    in summary
    UNRA announced major traffic changes at Karuma Bridge due to structural defects requiring immediate repairs. To ensure safety and maintain the bridge's integrity, heavy vehicles, including lorries, trailers, trucks, and buses, were initially rerouted through the Luwero Kafu Masindi Paraa route, which passes through Murchison Falls National Park.

    On May 6, 2024, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) announced critical changes to the traffic flow at Karuma Bridge following the identification of significant structural defects requiring immediate intervention.

    In a move aimed at ensuring public safety and maintaining the structural integrity of the bridge, UNRA has diverted lorries, trailers, trucks, and buses traveling from Kampala to Gulu and West Nile. Initially, these heavy vehicles were rerouted to use the Luwero – Kafu – Masindi – Paraa (Murchison Falls National Park) route, connecting to Pakwach or Gulu via Olwiyo, and vice versa for those traveling from Gulu and West Nile.

    This decision was made to mitigate the risk posed by the damaged Karuma Bridge and to facilitate continued transportation across the region. However, after extensive consultations with various stakeholders, it has been determined that the Masindi – Paraa route passes through an ecologically sensitive environment. Concerns were raised about the potential impact on the wildlife within Murchison Falls National Park, prompting a revision of the diversion plan.

    Effective Friday, May 24, 2024, all drivers of trailers, lorries, and trucks, except buses, are now advised to use the Kafu – Masindi route and branch off to the left onto the Hoima – Biiso – Buliisa – Paraa road to connect to Pakwach or Gulu via Olwiyo. Buses will continue using the previously designated route. The newly recommended alternative route is fully paved and reduces the travel distance by approximately 20 kilometers through Murchison Falls National Park.

    This adjustment is intended to minimize the impact on wildlife movement and behavior, thereby helping to preserve Uganda's rich wildlife heritage. UNRA's decision underscores the delicate balance between infrastructure development and environmental conservation. By redirecting heavy traffic away from the most sensitive areas of the park, the authority aims to protect the diverse ecosystem while maintaining vital transport links.

    Meanwhile, the Government of Uganda is fast-tracking the allocation of funds for the construction of a new bridge at Karuma, which will provide a long-term solution to the current transportation challenges. In the interim, UNRA will commence necessary repairs on the existing bridge to ensure the smooth and safe restoration of traffic flow. These measures reflect the government's commitment to both infrastructure improvement and environmental conservation.

    Travelers are advised to adhere to the new routes and remain patient as the authorities work diligently to address the bridge's defects and enhance road safety for all users.

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