INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT

State begins Sh12.5 billion dualing of Eastern bypass

Besides creating employment opportunities , the dualing project is also expected to attract more investment within the area.

In Summary

• The Kenya Urban Roads Authority and the China Communication Construction Company signed a contract to start the project in October. 

• At a cost of Sh12.5 billion, the dualing of the bypass will make some sections have four lanes and others six.

Dualling of the Eastern Bypass in progress
Dualling of the Eastern Bypass in progress
Image: HANDOUT

The government has begun upgrading the 28km Eastern bypass to a dual carriageway.

The project is expected to ease traffic along the busy Eastern bypass, which serves the eastern side of Nairobi and diverts traffic from the city centre.

The Kenya Urban Roads Authority and the China Communication Construction Company signed a contract to start the project in October. 

At a cost of Sh12.5 billion, the dualing of the bypass will make some sections have four lanes and others six.

Amenities such as pedestrian walkways and streetlights will also be installed.

Kura's director general Silas Kinoti on Monday said the project will be completed within 12 months.

“This project is long overdue and it has finally started after the government made resources available for its implementation," Kinoti said.

He said the contractor has started works on several sections that have no traffic challenges.

Kenyans have been urged to cooperate and support the project.

The Eastern bypass starts at City Cabanas along Mombasa Road, linking motorists through Ruai towards Ruiru, passing over Thika Road to Ruaka where it joins the Northern bypass.

The Nairobi Eastern bypass dualing project was among 11 major infrastructure initiatives Kenya showcased to international investors during the Belt and Road forum  in Beijing, China, in May 2017.

Nairobi traffic jams are estimated to cost the Kenyan economy Sh100 billion every year, or about Sh11 million per hour.

Kinoti said the project is expected to transform the fortunes of the people living along the bypass, Kangundo Road,  to Kamakis and Wembley area through increased economic activities.

Besides creating employment opportunities , the project is also expected to attract more investment to the area.

Once the project is complete, it will be a relief for motorists as transversing Nairobi without getting into the ever congested and traffic prone  city centre will be made easier starting January next year.

The Ministry of Transport is set to complete road works along the four bypasses  — Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern.

The dualing of the 16km Western bypass is set to be completed this month. 

It passes through several towns such as Gitaru, Wangige, Ndenderu and Ruaka, and is the fourth and final ring road in the Nairobi Ring Road Network Masterplan.

The project works include the construction of a dual carriageway with a length of 15.3km and about 17.31km of service roads.

It also involves the construction of seven grade interchanges at Gitaru, Lower Kabete, Wangige, Kihara, Ndenderu, Rumenye and Ruaka.

The construction began on March 15, 2019, and was projected to be completed in 39 months. It is being funded by the China Exim Bank and the Kenyan government.

The contractor is China Road and Bridge Corporation.

"Traffic jams will end in Nairobi, you are going to see an entirely different city that you have not seen before," Transport CS James macharia said. 

By constructing these roads, we have a complete Nairobi circular and you can now go around Nairobi without passing through the city centre. This will bring an end to the traffic jam that is brought by motorists who use the city centre just to get across the other side of Nairobi ," Macharia added.

With these roads, the CS said it will also open up avenues and attract more investors who will offer job opportunities to the youths

Edited by EKibii