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The very first challenge for many tourists arriving by air in Uganda in Eastern Africa is to safely get from the country's international airport in Entebbe to a hotel somewhere in the capital Kampala, about 37 km away. Today, this comprises a one hour drive on a narrow, congested and at times bumpy road - and at night in total darkness. The experience can be somehow nerve-racking for newcomers to the country. But while locals may be used to poor road quality, a planned modernization of the current link between Entebbe and Kampala will for sure be warmly welcomed by both Ugandans and visitors.
The new proposed expressway will take its start south west of Kampala, stretching south to Entebbe International Airport with a total distance of approximately 40 km. Another 14 km of highway will connect Munyonyo on the northern shores of Lake Victoria with the highway at Lweeza. As part of GKMA's (the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area) master plan, the future connection between Uganda's capital and the country's largest and busiest airport has been decided in order to get an effective and quick link between these two important destinations; a modern link which will be much better suited than the existing Kampala-Entebbe Road to handle the heavy traffic that traverses it day and night.
Functioning among others as consultant for CCCC (China Communications Construction Company Limited), COWI is involved in this much needed Ugandan project with an array of services. In addition to the consultancy task, COWI has been asked to carry out design checks primarily within road geometry, drainage and surveying. Besides this project, COWIs Railways, roads and airports department assists CCCC as consultants in the preliminary phase for planning and design of an extension and restoration of the existing international airport in Entebbe. Construction of the expressway's first 11 km began in December 2012, with commissioning planned for 2016.
The Government of Uganda began in 2009 consultations with the Government of China regarding the construction of the new highway. In November 2010, the two governments signed an agreement where the Chinese government would lend up to US$350 million for the construction of the highway, repayable over forty years.