Gulu City Council authorities have extended the contract of China Railway 18 Bureau Group Co. Ltd., for four months. The contractor is undertaking the construction of six roads measuring 7.62kms.
The road works funded by the World Bank through Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) to a tune of 42.9 Billion shillings commenced on July 23 last year. It was meant to end on October 23 this year.
However, last month during a meeting in Gulu City, the contractor highlighted challenges that had affected the progress of the road construction and cited the inability to beat the contract dateline.
According to the contractor, the project works progress was delayed by the heavy rains that affected road construction, the high cost of materials and fuel, and delayed full payment of the certified Interim Payment certificate.
Isiah Tumwesigye, Gulu City Clerk told Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Wednesday that the contractor recently requested a contract time extension following numerous challenges it encountered.
Tumwesigye says following a review they conducted, the city contracts committee decided to add four months to both the contractor and the supervising consultant Trio Consultants Ltd.
He notes that they believe the contract extension will be sufficient for the contractor to smoothly complete the road construction.
Tumwesigye however says they are optimistic the contractor will complete the work within time but cautioned them to put more effort since they have already been paid all the certified interim payment certificates.
Gulu City Engineer Christopher Omara Balmoi says the road construction progress now stands at 85 percent but notes that heavy rains among other factors played a big role in delaying the road construction progress.
Balmoi however says although they have extended the contract by three more months, its progress and completion will be subject to the weather.
“We cannot tell what the weather will throw at us, I don’t know whether we are at the peak or exited the peak of the rainy season, so if we don’t have disruption from the weather, we should be able to complete the work in time,” Balmoi told URN in an interview.
The roads that are being upgraded to Class II standard paved roads with asphaltic concrete wearing course surface under the USMID project are Vincent Opio and Oola Lubara Road – 2.5kms, Pope John Paul Road – 1.5kms. Others are Nelson Mandela Road – 1.6kms, Onono Road – 1.01kms, Lakana Odong-kara Road- 0.583kms and Francis Barabanawe Road – 0.431kms. URN