HomeProjectsThe New Jinja Bridge (also known as Second Nile Bridge) in Uganda

The New Jinja Bridge (also known as Second Nile Bridge) in Uganda

The New Jinja Bridge also known as the Second Nile Bridge, located in Njeru, launched construction in January 2014. Zenitaka Corporation and Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company from Japan and South Korea, respectively, built the cable-stayed bridge.

As of August; 2017, the construction was 40 percent complete. The bridge is the first cable-stayed bridge in the region. It crosses the Victoria Nile and is aimed to replace the Nalubaale Bridge which was built in 1954.

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The bridge was budgeted to cost US$125 million however the government ended up having to add an additional US$36 million. The project was completed in October 2018 and has an expected lifespan of 120 years.

The gigantic concrete and steel structure has 72 harp-like white cables connecting the bridge deck to two 69-meter tall inverted-Y pylon towers.

The New Nile cable-stayed bridge project

The New Nile Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge that will align 500 meters upstream of Nalubaale Dam with a river width of 300 meters. The 525-meter-long bridge has a central span of 290 meters, end spans of 135 meters, and 100 meters on the east and west banks respectively.

The bridge’s foundation consists of 1.5 meters and 2.0 meters diameter piles which are embedded approximately 14-23 meters deep into hard rock. The new 1.83km long asphalt approach road has three at-grade junctions at Nile Breweries, Nytil, and Jinja round-about to allow interchange of traffic to the existing road network.

At a cost of US $129m, and with an estimated design life of 120 years, the new bridge is aimed at relieving traffic from the existing deteriorating bridge that was constructed over 60 years back by the British colonial government, improving communication on the Northern Corridor Route, a major link for Uganda and its landlocked Central African neighbors.

“The Bridge’s picturesque features and strategic location near the source of the Nile will present tourist and resort advantages to the benefit of local and international investors,” says Lawrence Pario, Head of Bridges and Structures, Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).

The New Nile Bridge’s uniqueness is in it being the longest single-plane cable configuration with a waterproof deck on the entire African Continent. The bridge deck has a 7 meters wide dual two-way carriageway with a pedestrian walkway of 2.25 meters wide on both ends; complete with street lighting facilities and a digital health monitoring system that monitors the load of the traffic passing, stresses, and strains in the cable, and communicates the distresses which will signal maintenance requirements. The overall width of the Bridge is 22.9 meters wide.

Moreover, an automatic weigh-in-motion (WIM) system will be installed on the approach roads to deter overweight traffic from crossing. “The Bridge is a landmark on the continent, and we are glad as a local company to have teamed up with Sika to construct the waterproof deck,” says Bridget Kholer, director of Roko Technical Services a sub-contractor on the project.


Environmental protection was well-managed during the structure’s construction. To mitigate negative environmental impact, an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) was carried out to ensure that there was no pollution of the Nile water, and continuous monitoring and audit were done to ensure compliance against potential environmental and social risks with their corresponding mitigation plans defined.

Transport / Construction industry

There have been skills transferred to the Local Construction Engineers, technicians, and craftsmen involved in the construction of the New Nile Bridge Project. The acquired skills will help in the transformation of Uganda’s Transport/Construction industry. The high local content in terms of materials, personnel, and machines has meant that local people and businesses have directly and indirectly benefited financially from the project.

Materials used

The major materials used for construction were high-performance and high-strength reinforced concrete whose constituents are aggregates, high-tensile steel, admixtures, and cement 42.5N.  Special manufactured multi-strand high-yield steel was used for the stay cable strands between pylons and prestressed concrete box girder. The road pavement layers were constructed with selected earth layers caped with a crushed stone base and asphalt finish.


The bridge structures (Abutments, Pylons & Box Girder) retain the gray concrete surface as the final finishing while cables take on the white color of the HDPE Pipes; at night the bridge lits in beautiful colors.


The construction scope of the New Nile Cable-stayed Bridge includes the construction of bored pile foundations, pile caps, abutments, two inverted Y pylons, and prestressed concrete box girder deck, installation of stay cables, approach roads, and ancillary works.


Like any groundbreaking work, the new Nile Bridge project was characterized by some challenges:

Delays in the delivery of construction materials and equipment procured from overseas put a four-month setback in the construction schedule. Moreover, the need to observe high environmental standards resulted in some non-compliant would-be local suppliers of materials, such as sand and gravel, being excluded.

The new bridge is set to be opened to the public in October 2018.

Enacted by the government of Uganda in 2006 as its singular agent mandated to develop and maintain the national roads network and advice the government on general roads policy, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has subsisted beyond expectations in the past 10 years of its existence, immensely addressing the issue of national transport and being responsible for the best road infrastructures in the country.

UNRA’s journey in ensuring that the country achieves a reputable road network is still ongoing with several projects in the pipeline. These include Kampala Flyover, Karuma Bridge, Kampala Jinja Expressway, Kampala Southern Bypass, and Kapchorwa Swamp.

Project Team on the new Nile Cable Bridge.

Client Uganda National  Roads Authority(UNRA)
Contractor Zenitaka Corporation of Japan in Joint Venture with Hyundai Engineering and Construction of South Korea
Sub-contractors -Roko Technical Services– Sato Kigyo for Bridge Substructure Works

– Utracon Overseas Pte. Ltd for Bridge Superstructure Works.

– Chongqing International Construction Corporation for Road works.

– Excel Construction Limited for Road Side Stations (Michino-Eki)

– Power Africa for Electrical Installations

– Roofings Group


Consultants Joint Venture of Oriental Consultants Co., Ltd/EightJapan Engineering Inc./PyunHwa Engineering Consultants Ltd.


Reported in April 2013

Construction of New $120m Jinja Bridge Commences December



The construction of the Jinja Bridge across the River Nile in Jinja, will commence in December this year and be complete in 2016, the works and transport minister Abraham Byandala has said.

Jinja Bridge, which will be erected a few kilometers from the old one, is to stand 80m high and span 525m long with dual lanes, Byandala said. Under the $120m (about sh295b) project, a 1.1km of dual lane approach roads will also be constructed together with three junctions.

Byandala said the new bridge will improve transport on the Northern Corridor Route which links Uganda and its landlocked neighbors Burundi, Rwanda, and eastern DRC to Kenya. The minister made the disclosure while addressing visiting Japanese royals, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko as they toured the site where the new bridge is to be constructed.

The Prince is on a three-day tour of Japan-funded projects in Uganda. The Japanese government provided a concessional loan of $100m of the $120m needed for the new bridge’s construction.

Reported in July 2017

First cable installed on Nile bridge in Uganda

One of the 21 stay cables to be put on the  526m long cable-stayed bridge across the Nile in Jinja has been installed. This is the first-ever cable to be installed at the new Nile bridge in Jinja.

According to Eng.Pario Lawrence, the head of bridge and structures construction at Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), the major challenging works in the water which included creating an artificial island, fracturing through the deep rocks underwater, and socketing piles into the hard rocks are now complete.

Current construction work

Last month at the pylon 2 structure, concrete casting for the 14th lift pylon top was completed. Steel reinforcement fixing for the 15th lift is in progress, with nine-cable stay anchorage boxes already installed.

Meanwhile, some works have been successfully completed including 21 two-meter diameters reinforced cast concrete piles, pile cap, and pylon base, including post-tensioning of pylon base, construction of temporary bearings, installation of pot bearings and lateral bearings, construction of pier table and pylon legs and the installation of a tower crane.

At the pylon 1 structure, concrete casting for the 12th lift-1 of the pylon top was completed, while steel reinforcement fixing for the 12th lift-2 and 12th lift-3 is in progress.

The pier table for both sides was completed with all the longitudinal prestressing of both pier table stands and pier table bars, the construction of the first segment of pylon 1 to the abutment 1 box girder from the pier table is in progress with rebar works for both bottom slab and web in progress and installation of pylon 1 and pylon 2 form traveler trusses is also in progress.

Other works

Road construction works which were also in progress, with section 2 embankment works on the Jinja side are also completed. Embankment sections 5 and 6 and drainage works on the Njeru side are ongoing. The box culvert was completed while the retaining wall is almost complete, with only one block remaining.

Pario said construction of all cross-service ducts, permanent relocation of water and sewer lines,s and relocation of the power line at the Jinja side are all complete and in progress on the Njeru side. The relocation of the telecommunication fibers is ongoing and a road station structural design is also in progress too.

Reported in March 2018

Uganda to seek a loan for the construction of the new River Nile Bridge

The Ugandan parliament has given its government a go-ahead to borrow US $125.7m from Japanese and European banks for the construction of the new River Nile Bridge. The project is estimated to cost US $44.3m. The remaining money will finance the Masaka-Mbarara power transmission line project.

The loans were contained in two separate motions presented on the floor of Parliament by Finance Minister David Bahati (Ndorwa West County).

According to Ngora County MP David Abala, some Government projects have not been completed in time, and they have failed to meet the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) policy to support local content.

The Government is expected to borrow US $45.6m from the French Agency for the development and construction of the River Nile Bridge and another loan of US $43m from the German Development Bank to finance the Masaka-Mbarara power transmission.

In 2011, Parliament approved concessional financing of US $87m from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the construction of the new River Nile Bridge with the construction commencing two years later in 2013. In this regard, the completion date has been moved ahead by two months from April 2018.

Reported in October 2018

The new Nile bridge in Uganda commissioned

Uganda’s President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has commissioned the US $129m new Nile bridge in Jinja Uganda.

“I’m happy the work is done. We did the best quality assurance and rigorous quality control and tested the construction materials with state-of-the-art equipment, both within and abroad in Singapore and Japan. The bridge is an excellent piece of engineering,” said Eng Lawrence Pario, the contractor manager responsible for overall coordination, supervision, and management of the project.

Reported in April 2019

The new Nile Bridge in Uganda undergoes repairs

The Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) has announced that the new Nile Bridge is undergoing fresh repairs with respect to replacing the old temporary layer with a permanent one.

Unra Public Relations officer, Mr. Mark Ssali who announced the reports said that engineers are removing the old asphalt material which failed to be compatible with waterproof materials.

“We are replacing the asphalts which failed and we started with the two lanes. We are going to wait for the waterproof materials to dry because we are replacing them with new asphalts which are compatible with waterproof materials that had failed at first,” said Mr. Ssali.

This has prompted the authorities to divert Jinja-bound traffic to the old Nalubaale Bridge to allow maintenance work. Ssali noted that engineers working on the repairs have promised to finish the work in about two months and the bridge will be ready for use by July.

Mr. Ssali also affirmed that the bridge has no structural problems and that they were simply replacing the entire road surface whose asphalt was rotting. According to contractors, they are replacing AC14 asphalt – which was not bonding well with waterproofing material – with modified polymer asphalt.

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