Government is considering electrifying the fence of the newly constructed Entebbe expressway to stop vandalism of road furniture, President Yoweri Museveni has said.
While commissioning the Kampala-Entebbe expressway at Mpala toll station in Wakiso district on Friday evening, Museveni said electrifying the fence will help minimise the burden of maintaining vandalised road furniture. The function was also graced by Wang Yang, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
Museveni said cameras will also be installed to ease monitoring of activities along the road. The equipment usually vandalised according to the Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) includes guard rails and road signs.
The president also reminded motorists who wish to use the road that; they will have to pay a yet-to-be determined amount of money, because the expressway was built as a toll road under the public-private partnership. He said Ugandans are so used to free things, but this time, they will have to pay if they want to use the road.
The tolling section, according to Unra, measures 25km running from Busega through Kajjansi to Abayita Ababiri (Mpala).
Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, the state Minister for Works, said the toll fee will be fixed after enactment of the Road Toll Bill. Road tolling is a form of road pricing on either a public or private roadway, typically implemented to help recover the cost of road construction and maintenance.
Wang is optimistic that the road will boost industrialisation in Uganda since it would reduce time goods spend in transit from Entebbe to Kampala. Wang said with the expressway, the time from Entebbe airport to Kampala will be reduced from the current two hours to 45 minutes.
The 49.56km highway connects Kampala city to Entebbe International Airport was constructed with a loan of up to $476 million (about Shs 1.8 trillion) from the Exim Bank of China constructed by the China Communication Construction Company (CCCC).
According to the findings of Committee of Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), the road has cost Uganda $9.2 million per kilometre - over and above the average cost $2 million per kilometre within the East African region in Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda.
Meanwhile, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians will not be allowed to use the newly constructed road when it is officially opened.
Government says it will put up four more expressways including Kampala-Jinja expressway, Kampala-Busunju expressway, Kampala-Busega-Mpigi expressway, Kampala outer belt and Kampala-Bombo expressway.
These, government says will enhance efficient passenger and freight operations, improve mobility, reduce travel times, vehicle operating costs and accident rates.