In May 2023, UNRA excluded buses from using the repaired section of River Katonga Bridge. The authority said the bridge, which had been affected by rising water levels, could only be used by pedestrians, motorbikes, saloon cars, station wagons/Suvs, 14-seater (commuter taxis) and 28-seaster (coaster) vans. However, the authority has announced that passenger buses can now use River Katonga Bridge along Kampala-Masaka highway.
The authority, in a statement posted on X, said this followed the continuous technical monitoring and recent assessment conducted for the old existing bridge at Katonga. “It has been established that the bridge can withstand loading up to 30 tonnes.”
“As a result, the existing bridge has now been opened to all buses in addition to the light vehicles that were earlier permitted to use the section under the precautionary measures that are to be implemented immediately by the Contractor (China Communications Construction Company Ltd) during this time,” the statement added.
“The bridge shall be a one-lane access and therefore travelers should expect some delays. Drivers are required to strictly follow the guidelines of the traffic officers, the signs and the markings on the road for safety and to avoid delays,” said UNRA then. The buses have been using the diversion route (Mpigi—Kanoni—Maddu—Sembabule—Masaka), spending an extra four hours on the Kampala-Masaka highway.
UNRA said, “All permitted traffic is therefore strongly urged to follow the signage in place and all the traffic guidelines established at a safe approach distance to the bridge.”
Currently, works on Phase II of the restoration works at Katonga (construction of the steel bridge) are ongoing and on completion will enable full restoration of traffic at Katonga section before permanent works can commence.