Kenya gets first Express Way
Construction of a new superhighway in Nairobi, the first of its kind in the region, was yesterday unveiled by President Uhuru Kenyatta with expectations high that it will unclog heavy traffic experienced in Nairobi and its suburbs especially during rush hours.
While launching the Sh60 billion, 21 kilometres Nairobi Express highway that connects Mombasa road with Westlands, Uhuru said it will reduce traffic jam from motorists accessing or exiting the city centre, and will put Nairobi at par with capital cities in the developed world.
An express way is a highway designed for fast traffic, with controlled entrance and exit, a dividing strip between the traffic in opposite directions, and typically two or more lanes in each direction.
Motorists will however pay a maintenance fee for the 21 kilometre highway through 10 electronic toll plazas.
To ease traffic flow on the highway that begins at Mlolongo, and joins Waiyaki way at the James Gichuru junction in Westlands, 10 points of entry and exit have been provided.
The highway, to be completed in 2021 will bypass the city centre through a four lane elevated highway overlooking Uhuru Highway from Capital centre near South B Estate.
The President said the project will provide employment for the youth. “I have directed the contractors - China Road and Bridges Corporation – to give priority to youths from Embakasi, Mlolongo, Kibra and Mathare priority when employing,” he said.
The highway will also have ground level sections composed of four and six lanes.
Civil, construction and engineering works will be undertaken by Chinese firm, China Road and Bridges Corporation, which will manage the road for the next 30 years.
Construction will be in three phases. The first phase will begin at Mlolongo, and end at the Eastern bypass. It will be composed of a 10 kilometre ground level highway stretch composed of four lanes.
This will give way to a six lane ground level highway leading to the Southern bypass interchange, a distance of 5 kilometres.
The last phase will have a six lanes elevated highway and will begin near Capital centre through the city centre along Uhuru Highway, upto James Gichuru junction and into Waiyaki way.