The Sh59 billion project will be financed under the public-private partnership model
Authorities have assured anxious Mlolongo traders that their buildings will not be demolished to pave way for the construction of the Nairobi expressway.
Locals told a public participation meeting on Tuesday that they were fearful structures near the highway might be demolished when construction starts.
The meeting brought together residents, officials of the Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) and administrators in Mlolongo.
Trader Dorothy Musya said the project plan has not allocated space for sewerage and drainage system, saying such a lapse in planning may cause stormwater to flow into homes.
Musya also asked that two footbrigdes be erected near the AIC Kasina and Catholic churches to reduce road accidents.
Area MCA Daniel Mbuvi asked Kenha to set aside a market place where all the traders will relocated to once they are moved from near the road. Mbuvi also urged the government to scout for more investors to boost the economy.
"The government should look for more investors to help our economy grow. But we would like the new contractor to establish a market place within the unoccupied land of Kenha where our traders will be working from," Mbuvi said.
In October, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the construction of the double-decker road that is set to link the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Nairobi-Nakuru highway.
The Sh59 billion project will be financed under the public-private partnership model. The tender for the 27km road has been awarded China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).
The road will start in Mlolongo and end at the James Gichuru junction on Waiyaki Way.
Mbuvi demanded that the contractor "comes to the ground and listens to the views of the locals before he commences the project."
Kenha engineer Stanely Mwawasi who led the consultation forum said the project will not engage in destruction and assured residents of the safety of their property.
He said the expressway will be the first fully tolled highway in the country where users will have to pay Sh300. The levy will go to the Chinese contractor as returns for the investments for 27 years.
"The toll centers will be strategically placed along slip road and fully automated to facilitate easier payments but commuters who will not afford the Sh300 will still be able to use the current Mombasa Road," Mwawasi said.
Athi River deputy county commissioner David Juma urged residents to welcome the project, saying it will improve living standards.
edited by peter obuya