By Our Correspondent
The New Source of the Nile Bridge has been described as a thing of beauty – an architectural masterpiece as any you would find anywhere in the world.
The 525m long cable-stayed bridge is the second of its kind in East Africa after Tanzania’s 680m-long Kigamboni Bridge which was commissioned a fortnight ago.
And in Africa, the Source of Nile Bridge is the fifth longest cable-stayed bridge behind Egypt’s Suez Canal Bridge (3,900), Lekki Ikoyi Bridge in Nigeria (1,360m), Mohammed VI Bridge in Morocco (950m) and Tanzania’s Kigamboni.
Ahead of it’s commissioning by President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday, Eng. Samuel Muhoozi, the Director of Roads and Bridges at Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), contends that the new bridge has the ability to become a major tourist attraction because of its novelty.
“One of the aims of constructing this bridge was enhancing tourism with addition of this iconic signature bridge in this picturesque location,” Muhoozi told the media earlier today.
UNRA director for roads and bridges development Eng. Samuel Muhoozi speaks during a press briefing at UNRA offices in Kampala. Photo by Ronnie Kijjambu
The new bridge has fan shaped single plane stay cables and inverted Y Pylon just like other iconic cable-stayed bridges elsewhere in the world.
Constructed at a cost of $112m (about sh411.1b), the Source of Nile Bridge is expected to have a life span of 120 years.
Over the years, countries that have pulled off unique engineering masterpieces have been able to turn them into tourism cash cows. And one such country is Vietnam whose ‘Golden Arms Bridge’ has continued to draw tourists from all corners of the globe.
Nestled in the forested hills of central Vietnam two giant concrete hands emerge from the trees, holding up a glimmering golden bridge which is normally crowded with gleeful visitors taking selfies.
And turning the Source of the Nile Bridge into a ‘must visit site’, Muhoozi contends, will not be asking too much from those eager to market Uganda as a preferred port of call for tourists.