Gulu - Atiak Road Contract Finally Signed

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In short
The contract to tarmac the 74 kilometer stretch of road between Gulu town to Atiak along the Gulu – Nimule road has finally been awarded ending years of delay and anticipation in the construction work.

The contract to tarmac the 74 kilometer stretch of road between Gulu town to Atiak along the Gulu – Nimule road has finally been awarded ending years of delay and anticipation in the construction work.

Peter Ssebanakitta, the executive director of Uganda National Road Authority told Uganda Radio Network on Monday that the contract was finally signed on Friday.

Dan Alinange, the UNRA spokesperson explained that the government of Uganda awarded and signed the contract with CHICO, a Chinese construction company. He said the project will cost 87 billion shillings over a period of 30 months when the work is expected to get completed. The cost is to be born jointly by the Uganda government and the World Bank.

China Henan International Corporation (CHICO) is a Chinese construction Group that has won and conducted works in Tanzania, Namibia, Rwanda, Liberia and Guinea among other countries.

The award of the contract was initially put on hold after one of the bidding contractors sought redress for what was alleged to be irregularity in the contract award process. Alinange admitted there was a petition by one of the companies over the tendering process but declined to give details.

He however said CHICO; the eventual winner of the bid is expected to begin work by January 2012 after assembling the machinery and other required equipment within the next three months.

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He added that the remainder of the road section between Atiak to Nimule would be awarded later and the work will be funded by the Japanese government through its development agency JICA.

The Gulu – Nimule road has become a busy route as it connects Uganda to the Republic of South Sudan especially following the peace that has returned to the region following years of war. As a result, the route experiences heavy traffic that has also led the road to develop multiple pot holes making it impassable mostly during rainy season.

The latest development will provide a relief to the road users who ply the route considering the current state of the road.