President Uhuru lauds progress of Nairobi Expressway
PSCU and Alvin Mwangi
President Uhuru Kenyatta has expressed satisfaction with the progress of the Nairobi Expressway.
When complete in March next year, the eight-lane elevated dual carriageway is expected to significantly decongest Mombasa Road and reduce travel time between Mlolongo and Westlands.
During his inspection tour yesterday, the President who was accompanied by Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and Nairobi Metropolitan Services director general Mohamed Badi, laid the final box girder bridge, a year after the first one was laid on December 26.
“It is a proud moment for us as Kenyans as we witness the laying of the last of the girders that are linking this new superhighway,” the President said.
He commended the contractor for a job well done and expressed confidence the road will be ready for use by March.
“I want to the thank the contractor because we started this project one year ago when we laid the first box girder and today; three days earlier to one year, we are now laying the last,” he said.
He added: “I am confident with the kind of speed that they are moving at, the indicated date of March for completion of this road is bound to be met.
I will be very proud to be able to drive all the way from Machakos turn-off to Rironi and hopefully, at that point, launch the road from Rironi to Mau Summit.”
Constructed under a Public Private Partnership (PPP), the President affirmed Kenya’s commitment to continue working with the China which he said continues to be a key development partner.
“Our partnership with China is one that is mutually beneficial, that is based on win-win, and we are very grateful to the Chinese government for the support they continue to render not only to our country but to the rest of Africa,” Uhuru said.
He said the expressway had created more than 6,000 direct jobs, benefitted 200 sub-contractors and hundreds of other local suppliers of building materials such as steel, sand, cement and ballast.
“I want to thank everybody, the ministry, the contractor, the Chinese government, security agencies who have ensured people are able to work on a 24-hour basis, NMS and all those who have been involved,” President Kenyatta said.
Uhuru said the road is 93 per cent complete, observing that the expressway was among the many ongoing road construction projects in Nairobi totalling to more than 420km.
Macharia thanked the President for championing the project, saying its completion will significantly decongest Mombasa Road.
“We thank you for the support, because this project will make a very big difference for our country.
After it is finished in March, people will be taking 20 minutes only from the airport to James Gichuru Road.”
He said the expressway is just one of several lined up Nairobi link roads, noting that a similar project to connect Mlolongo to the Machakos turn-off, was underway.