118 out of the 515 bridges under the management of Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA, countrywide are on the verge of collapsing anytime.
A research by the UNRA Directorate of Planning shows that the bridges have lived beyond their 50 year life span. Most of the major bridges in the country were built by the colonial government between 1940 and 1950 to ease transportation of cash crops.
Engineer Lawrence Pario, the Senior Manager in Charge of bridges and structures at UNRA says 68 bridges are in critical condition and may collapse anytime.
He disclosed this while appearing before the commission of inquiry investigating into the affairs of Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA. It came after the commission members tasked Pario to explain the failure of UNRA to rehabilitate the bridges.
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According to Pario, currently, the authority is rehabilitating about 32 bridges. Another 20 will be rehabilitated in the next financial year and another 20 in the following year.
Evidence before the commission indicates that the Authority doesn\'t incorporate bridges in the civil works for roads, while some of the bridges collapse immediately after they have been worked on.
Engineer Pario says they have learnt a lot on the shortcomings in their planning from some of the roads, like Tororo-Mbale, whose bridge broke down a few days after the road was commissioned.
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The commission has begun investigations into the newly constructed bridges like Ntungwe Bridge, which connects Kanungu and Rukungiri district.