Talk has been whopping $476 million Kampala-Entebbe Expressway being the most expensive road in the world but Thursday’s signing of a $151 million (Ushs 545,110,000,000) 40-year from the African Development Bank (AfDB) is also raising debate among Ugandans.
The enormous debt on the taxpayer is set to be used to partly expand a major road linking Kampala with Rwanda.
The proposed multinational Busega-Mpigi Expressway also called the Kampala-Mpigi Highway, connecting to the Kampala–Masaka road enroute to Mirama Hills- Kagitumba at the border with neighbouring Rwanda.
It will include four major interchanges to facilitate interconnection to with roads at designated points at Nabbingo, Nsangi, Maya and Lugala in Wakiso district off both the Northern Bypass and the Entebbe-Expressway whose expansion and construction, separately is ongoing.
The highway will also include 20km of link/service roads (of normal width 7km), five flyovers and 8km of auxiliary lanes.
Finance minister Matia Kasaija told media that the 23 km, 4-lane toll road is to help de-congest traffic on an existing road, adding the government would fund the remainder of the $192 million project.
The project would result in “enhanced trade and regional integration, and reduction in transport costs”, Kasaija added.
How much will it cost Ugandans per kilometer to construct this tollroad?
Mr Kasaija did not reveal nonetheless TheUgandan’s computations show that a whopping $8.3 million will be splashed and about $2 million per lane, per kilometer! This is almost near the cost of the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway. But no one is raising an eyebrow.
About TOLL ROADS
Tolls are collected at points known as toll booths, toll houses, plazas, stations, bars, or gates. Some toll collection points are unmanned and the user deposits money in a machine which opens the gate once the correct toll has been paid. Criticisms of toll roads include the time taken to stop and pay the toll, and the cost of the toll booth operators—up to about one third of revenue in some cases. Others object to paying “twice” for the same road: in fuel taxes and with tolls.