Sonatubes-Bugesera road expansion works set to begin in February

The busy Kicukiro trading centre along the Sonatubes-Gahanga-Akagera Bridge road whose expansion is expected to start tomorrow. The expropriation of the property along this road will cost an estimated Rwf4.5 billion. File.

Expansion works for Sonatubes-Bugesera road, which stretches from Sonatubes (Kicukiro) to Akagera Bridge (ex-Nyabarongo) through Gahanga town, are set to begin early February, 2019.

The revelation was made on Monday by the State Minister in charge of Transport, Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, in an exclusive interview with The New Times.

Works to upgrade the road had been slated to begin last month but they have been delayed pending expropriation process.

Officials have said that over 320 properties will be affected by the road construction and the government has set aside Rwf4.5 billion for the expropriation exercise, with the first batch of the money expected to be paid soon enough for road works to begin early next year.

“The money is budgeted for in the current fiscal year,” Uwihanganye said.

Construction works for the road, which is 13.8 kilometre long, will cost about $50 million (about Rwf44.5billion), which is a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM BANK) while Rwf4.5 billion for expropriation will be paid by the Government.

“We are going to widen the road to ensure the traffic is smooth and quicker,” Uwihanganye said.

He explained that the road expansion has to be completed by the end of 2020 in line with completion of construction works for the first phase of Bugesera International Airport.

The official said the refurbished road will improve economic development of the country and residents of Kicukiro District, urging people around here to take advantage of the project.

“People around the area should support the project and also seek jobs in it. They should also be careful with the traffic during the construction of the road to avoid any accidents,” he said.

The Mayor of Kicukiro District, Jeanne Nyirahabimana, hopes that expropriation processes to pave way for the road’s construction will be done by the end of January next year.

She told The New Times on Monday that construction of the road is very urgent because it will make it possible for Bugesera airport to operate and reduce congestion caused by the existing road which isn’t large enough to cater for high traffic.

The mayor said the district has already informed its residents about the road’s construction and those who own properties to be affected by the road’s expansion are already aware that they will face expropriation.

Construction works for the road will be done in three phases; from Akagera River Bridge to Gahanga sector, from Gahanga to Nyanza Bus Park, and from Nyanza to Sonatubes.