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Tanzania's Ubungo Interchange In Dar es Salaam Inaugurated

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

Africa | Infrastructure | Tanzania February 24, 2021

The largest traffic interchange in Tanzania and probably East Africa, Ubungo Interchange in Dar es Salaam, was on February 24, 2021 inaugurated, reported some local media. The new state-of-the-art traffic interchange was inaugurated by the country’s President John Magufuli who also renamed it Kijazi Interchange.

Construction of Ubungo Interchange began in 2017, by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), at a cost of about $ 87 million. It is a three level six lane flyover that includes two Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes. It links three arterial roads, namely, Morogoro Road, Nelson Mandela Road, and Sam Nujoma Road.

On the one hand, Morogoro Road is one of Dar es Salaam’s four arterial roads that radiate from downtown linking it with the hinterland and give the city its iconic overall radial spatial form. The other three radial arterial roads are Nyerere Road, Kilwa Road, and Bagamoyo Road.

On the other hand, Nelson Mandela Road and Sam Nujoma Road together form some sort of an outer ring road or by-pass to the port of Dar es Salaam. The ring road also connects all the four radial arterial roads mentioned above.

Ubungo Interchange is expected to alleviate traffic congestion along Morogoro Road to downtown Dar es Salaam, as well as along Nelson Mandela Road to the port of Dar es Salaam. Whether that will happen is highly questionable. We will tell you why.

Often, traffic interchanges or flyovers alone can not solve traffic congestion problems along involved roads. That is because unless all the roads involved are also improved to become congestion free, from the interchanges to desired destinations, the interchanges can easily be suffocated and rendered ineffective by traffic congestion pushed backwards to them along the roads involved.

In Dar es Salaam, the effectiveness of Ubungo Interchange in reducing traffic congestion along the roads involved will therefore depend on whether the sections of Morogoro Road and Mandela Roads from the interchange to downtown Dar es Salaam and port of Dar es Salaam respectively have been or will be improved to standards that ensure smooth traffic flows, through lets say adequate road widening, as well as provision of over and under passes and even flyovers at junctions. Also, BRT bus stations at middle of the three arterial roads, especially those close to the interchange, should be accessed only by under and over passes. Failure to introduce these features, Ubungo Interchange alias Kijazi Interchange may not deliver the expected results!

Take a look at the video above, about the inaugurated new Ubungo Interchange alias Kijazi Interchange.


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