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Improving traffic conditions around Kampala city centre, Uganda

The Kampala Bypass Road 
 Photo: COWI.

​The current 21 km long Kampala Northern Bypass Highway in Uganda is forming a semicircle across the Northern suburbs of Kampala. The construction was finished in 2009, but already at this stage it was found necessary to upgrade the road to improve the capacity.

​The purpose of the bypass is to improve the East-West traffic flow and ease traffic congestion in the city centre. The new capacity improvement will relieve congestion, reduce travel time and vehicle operating costs as well as protect Kampala’s city roads from heavy commercial through traffic.

Providing uninterrupted traffic flow

The rationale behind the original design was to limit the number of interchanges to the bypass due to capacity and safety considerations.

The existing intersections are all roundabouts with exception of Bombo which is a grade separated interchange. The grade separation included in the new design improves the capacity of the intersection by providing uninterrupted traffic flow (fly-overs).

The upgrading works can be summarised as:

  • Construction of dual carriageway over 17.5 km, so that the complete 21 km bypass will be of four lane dual carriageway capacity
  • Construction of three new footbridges
  • Widening of at grade junction at Sentema
  • Construction of five new grade separated interchanges at Hoima, Gayaza, Bukota-Kyebando, Ntinda Road and Naalya

Bridge structures are the major components of the grade-separated interchanges, which will provide overpass at Hoima, Gayaza, Bukota-Kyebando and Naalya roundabouts and an underpass at Ntinda interchange.

Further to the bypass works, service roads shall be constructed and utilities relocated as required.

State of the art traffic simulation software

An important input for the design review conducted by COWI, is the evaluation of the capacity of the grades separated intersections (fly-overs with roundabouts), using the state of the art traffic simulation software VISSIM. VISSIM handles various types of traffic flows and different vehicle fleet compositions as well as the performance of traffic light regulations.


By Jan Holm Pedersen
Published 05.08.2014

LAST UPDATED: 16.09.2016