The installation of street lights along the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway (KEE) has commenced, Chimp Corps report.
Egis, a French company hired by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), is implementing the project that will see the entire 49-kilometer, four-lane toll expressway lit.
Egis was contracted in 2021 to manage traffic, provide expressway lighting and security, enforce road safety, toll collection, and road maintenance, and respond to emergencies on the expressway linking Kampala to Entebbe International Airport.
Egis had planned to install lights in the first six months of its contract.
Earlier this year, Works Minister Gen. Katumba Wamala told Parliament that the delay in the expressway lighting was a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and disruption of global supply chains.
Many have attributed the road accidents on the expressway to poor lighting.
Officials said full expressway lighting will enhance the visibility of road users at night, thereby increasing the security and safety of motorists.
“Lighting pole installation has commenced today,” said KEE in a brief statement on Friday night.
“We are thrilled to announce that we have started the installation of lighting poles on the road,” said KEE, adding, “We hope to accomplish this significant milestone to provide better visibility and increase the safety of all road users.”
KEE urged “all road users to follow traffic signs and instructions during this installation period to avoid any accidents or delays.”
Meanwhile, vandalism of road furniture on the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway remains one of the biggest challenges on the country’s only toll road.
UPDATE: Lighting poles installation has commenced today.
We are thrilled to announce that we have started installation of lighting poles on the road.
We hope to accomplish this significant milestone to provide better visibility and increase on the safety of all road users. pic.twitter.com/uaF4iqoVNj
— Kampala Entebbe Expressway (@KEE_UG) May 19, 2023
MPs recently tasked UNRA with coming up with strategic and punitive measures to address the challenge of vandalism on the expressway, which, among others, includes resorting to alternative construction materials that are not attractive to vandals.
According to Eng. Joseph Otim, the UNRA Director, Road Maintenance, the fencing along the expressway has been the most vandalised road furniture.
“The entire section for the fencing measures up to 44,386 m, of which a total of 30,588.68m has been vandalised. The existing length of available fencing is 13,797.32m, indicating that 68.9 percent has been vandalised,” Eng Otim said.
He attributed the increased vandalism of the chain-link fence to the rampant market for metal scrap that is being used as raw material for steel products.