The much anticipated roads expansion project across Rwanda’s capital is set to commence in January, according to officials from the City of Kigali.
The roads expansion project is set to cover about 54 kilometres, mainly targeting expanding roads to a dual carriage way with two lanes on each side.
Chinese firm, China Road Bridge Corporation, has been contracted to do the work.
The project is expected to address traffic jams, especially during peak hours (mornings and early evenings). This has largely been attributed to narrow roads and lack of bypasses and alternative routes connecting various parts of the city.
Parfait Busabizwa, the City vice mayor in charge of economic development, told The New Times that all was set to for project to kick off in January.
He said the funding of the project was between Rwanda and China but the expropriation cost would be met by the Government of Rwanda.
The cost of expropriation is about Rwf4 billion with some of the payments already made and former property owners already moving.
Expropriation law states that subsequent to receiving compensation, those expropriated cannot exceed 90 days before vacating the premises to be used for development projects.
“The road upgrade will be in two phases; the first from the roundabout in town to Gatsata, Kanogo to Rwandex and to Prince House in Remera. This will be about 54 kilometres in total,” Busabizwa said.
The second phase will cover Nyacyonga, Nduba, Nyamirambo and the network aroundRugando, he added.
The entire project to relieve the city off traffic congestion is expected to cost about $76 million.
The announcement of the ambitious project has excited road users across the city, especially those plying the Remera-town route via Rwandex.
Among those excited about the project are public transporters who say the increasing traffic has to some extent reduced their profit margins as they make lesser trips during peak hours.
Fabrice Ndayisaba, a KBS bus driver, told The New Times that expanded roads will be a huge relief to operators like him as they will be able to make more trips with less traffic.
The project has been in the pipeline for a while but had previously been delayed due to challenges of finances, officials said.
The project, which covers Kigali’s three districts, is expected to contribute toward the goal of developing Kigali to a modern city with Nyarugenge being the financial hub, Kicukiro the knowledge hub, and Gasabo envisioned to be the employment and cultural centre.