President Yoweri Museveni finally commissioned the Shs 108bn, 103km Mbale-Soroti road stretch that has been under reconstruction since 2010.
Dott Services Ltd embarked on the road works on November 22, 2010 and reconstruction work was initially expected to last for 18 months but was completed on May 3, 2015 - after 53 months.
The delay drew angry reactions from residents who staged various demonstrations against the contractor. On Sunday, Museveni commissioned the road saying its completion has come as a relief to both government and road users.
Museveni explained that the Tororo-Mbale-Soroti road is a major corridor for traffic to South Sudan and part of the great north road.
“This road from Tororo-Mbale-Soroti was done with Uganda government money - 100%! The road from Tirinyi-Pallisa-Kumi is [also] going to be done using government money. The road from Soroti-Katakwi-Moroti will be done. The electricity that you have pushed to Kanungu, Katakwi has also be done using government money. No loans, no begging from anybody. Even the loans we pay back. Even the loans are our own money. If we don’t pay back, they won’t give us new loans", he said.
Reddy Maheshwara, the managing director Dott Services said the delay on the road works came as a result of the changes in the road design. He said this forced government to extend their contract period from 18 to 53 months to ensure smooth completion of the rehabilitation project.
He said the road was a Class II paved road with a 6.0m wide carriageway with unpaved shoulders.
Allen Kagina, the executive director Uganda National Road Authority (Unra) commended Dott Services Limited for the quality work.
She said government has given the contractor defects liability period of 12 months to ensure it completes its auxiliary works such as erection of road signs and road marking.
"The works on the road are fairly good. Fairly good for the surface of what they did. They have done a good job but I think there is some more they need to do. For example they need to complete the road marking, they need to put the signs”
Kagina asked residents to ensure good usage of roads and appealed to them to report any misuse.