The road was constructed in partnership with the Milan-based company Impresit. It was commissioned by the Government of Tanganyika (known as Tanzania since 1964) immediately after the country gained independence in 1961, as part of its industrialisation programme and in a drive to exploit the company's agricultural and mineral resources. The road improved transport between the two cities of Mwanza and Musoma on the south-eastern shore of Lake Victoria. Before the road was built most transport was by river. The road runs across Serengeti, one of Africa's most spectacular parks and safari destinations, which can now be reached even during the rainy season. The road is mainly on embankment, with six reinforced concrete bridges over watercourses.