In nine months, construction of Kigali bypasses will be complete, creating alternate routes for motorists and easing traffic in the city.
The $76 million road construction project, that started in January, will be completed within 32 months. The road network covers 54 kilometres.
Works on the major bypasses were given priority with their completion date set for June 2018.
In January, the City of Kigali embarked on a roads expansion project beginning with the road connecting downtown Kigali (main roundabout) to Nyabugogo Bus Terminal via Muhima and the road from Rwandex to Prince House via Sonatube.
Bruno Rangira, the City spokesperson, told The New Times that the expansion of the roads connecting the city centre to Nyabugogo and that connecting Rwandex to Prince House were made priority because of their usability.
The works started in January and the Muhima road was opened for use in June. The Rwandex to Prince House road is also near completion.
With an increase in imported cars, Kigali is beginning to experience heavy traffic and city officials are under pressure to find solutions sooner rather than later.
Although Rwanda Revenue Authority says the number of cars imported have dropped to a monthly rate of 20 per cent from 697 cars to 562 cars this year, the number is still high compared to the capacity of city roads.
Dr Alphonse Nkurunziza, the City of Kigali engineer, said to finish the works in time, some roads are being worked on simultaneously.
“Apart from the road expansion that you see going on around the city, we have already started works on alternative roads like Gisozi – Karuruma that will enable traffic to and from Gicumbi district head to their destinations without having to pass through the already congested Nyabugogo area,” Nkurunziza said.
The idea is to connect upcountry routes without having to drive through the city centre.
Upon completion, this will be good news for truckers and public transport vehicles which lose time navigating through the congested city or have to adjust their schedules to avoid the traffic.
Nkurunziza also disclosed that the works on the Mont Kigali–Nyabarongo road and the Kagugu-Zindiro-Nyacyonga road are about to start as the required paperwork is now complete.
“Of course there are more roads to be rehabilitated to facilitate the traffic flow in the city centre, but by next June, all bypasses will be open to traffic,” he said.
The works are mainly being implemented by Chinese firm, China Road Bridge Corporation.
Other roads under the project include Kanogo-Rwandex, Kimihurura road, Nyamirambo-Rebero-Nyanza, Nyamirambo-Cyumbati-Gikondo, Kagugu- Batsinda-Nyacyonga, Downtown-Yamaha, and Kimisange-Cyumbati roads.
Kigali has a vision of putting tarmac on all its in-roads, with residents also chipping in to expedite the process which has seen numerous residential areas get tarmac.
Another envisaged project is to construct much wider bypasses (ring roads) that will go around the city to ensure those from upcountry who want to go to other upcountry districts do not necessarily pass through the city.