Uganda opens iconic Jinja bridge across River Nile

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni officially launched a 525-metre long bridge, dubbed The Source of the Nile Bridge, Wednesday in the southern town of Jinja.

The $112 million cable-stayed bridge was funded by a loan from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.

Jinja Bridge commissioning in UgandaMr Masahisa Sato, the State Foreign Affairs Minister of Japan, was also present at the ceremony.

Jinja thoroughfare that the bridge connects is a busy import-export route for Uganda through Kenya and, as such, provides the economic lifeline for the landlocked country.

Japanese, South Korean and British companies built the bridge. Some 800 employees, almost nine out of every 10 being Ugandans, built the infrastructure over four years.

The need for a new bridge was envisaged as far back as 1995 when periodical studies on the old Nalubaale-Owen Falls bridge showed it was waning.

The old Nalubaale bridge will now be used by motorcyclists [Photo Credit: MORGAN MBABAZI | NMG]
The old Nalubaale bridge will now be used by motorcyclists [Photo Credit: MORGAN MBABAZI | NMG]
The Jinja bridge is the second of its kind in East Africa after Tanzania’s 680 metre-long Kigamboni Bridge, which was commissioned a fortnight ago.

Samuel Muhoozi, the Director of Roads and Bridges at Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), said the bridge could become a major tourist attraction.

“One of the aims of constructing this bridge was enhancing tourism with the addition of this iconic signature bridge in this picturesque location,” he was quoted by local media as saying.

The signature beauty of the gigantic concrete and steel structure is 72 harp-like white cables connecting the bridge deck to two 69-metre tall inverted-Y pylon towers.

The bridge is expected to have a life span of 120 years.

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