On Morogoro Road, the traffic confusion is about to begin...

01Dec 2017
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
On Morogoro Road, the traffic confusion is about to begin...

MOTORISTS using the normally busy Morogoro Road to enter the country’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam will be obliged to use other routes for this purpose due to a two-day temporary closure of the highway’s outer lane that began at midnight yesterday.

This just-installed Tanzania National Roads Agency Tanroads) public notice says the inner lane of Dar es Salaam’s Morogoro Road will be closed to traffic from midnight today to noon tomorrow, as captured yesterday. It gives no reason for the move, but the road is undergoing major rehabilitation and expansion. Considering how busy the highway often is even when it is not rush hours, the closure will likely make it much more congested. Photo: Halima Kambi

According to the sign post put up by among others the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) and China Civil Engineering Construction Cooperation (CCECC), the lane will remain closed until noon tomorrow.

“Sorry for any inconvenience,” the sign adds.

CCECC is the contractor in charge of the Ubungo Interchange project at the junction of Morogoro Road, Sam Nujoma Road, and the Nelson Mandela Expressway.

This is known to be one of the busiest intersections countrywide, with more than 65,000 vehicles passing through on a daily basis. This includes an average of 500 to 600 upcountry and transnational passenger buses entering or exiting the city via its main gateway.

The 177.4 billion/- interchange construction project is scheduled to formally begin this month on a 910-day completion schedule, equivalent to about 30 months or two and a half years, during which traffic inflows and outflows are likely to be seriously interrupted for lengthy periods of time.

But once completed, it is expected to significantly ease traffic congestion all-round and minimise – of not end altogether - endemic traffic jams at the Ubungo junction especially during rush hours.

As a demonstration of the government's commitment towards the project, the headquarters of two key state institutions - the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) - are already in the process of being demolished to make way.

President Magufuli sanctioned the demolitions of buildings after it was confirmed that they were sitting within the Morogoro Road reserve boundary.

Over the past few months, more than 1,300 residential houses, public buildings and houses of prayer have been demolished by TANROADS to pave the way for the expansion of the Kimara-Kiluvya section which is part of the bigger plan for Morogoro Road’s expansion.