• The existing bridges at GM will be dismantled and new pedestrian bridges erected in their place as part of the Nairobi Expressway works.
• The two bridges cost Sh362 million with Bellevue bridge connecting South C costs Sh177 million. The one at General Motors cost Sh185 million
It is true that the existing footbridges at the General Motors and Bellevue will be demolished to pave way for the new JKIA-Westlands Expressway.
The Star’s fact-check desk moved in to verify claims that demolition of the two bridges which are a true representation of pedestrian safety would risk more lives on the busy highway.
Journalist James Smart on his Twitter account indicated that it was ironic that the government spent millions of taxpayers money on the two bridges only for them to be demolished.
The tweet generated mixed reactions among his followers, with others questioning if the government had a master-plan for the expressway.
The Star contacted the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) to ascertain the truth.
Director General Eng Peter Mundinia confirmed that the existing bridges at GM will be dismantled and new pedestrian bridges erected in their place as part of the Nairobi Expressway works.
However, he said the South C Footbridge will be maintained as is.
The cost of the two bridges, according to Mundinia, is Sh362 million with Bellevue bridge connecting South C costs Sh177 million. The one at General Motors cost Sh185 million.
He said the superstructure of the existing bridges was constructed using structural steel members which can be recovered and reassembled at the same or different location.
The two footbridges were built by H. Young & Company though EACC raised concerns over the tendering process.
The Kenya Roads Board (KRB) financed the construction work using money from the road maintenance fuel levy fund.
The JKIA–Westlands Highway is a planned toll road connecting Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to the neighborhood of Rironi, in Kiambu County, along the Nairobi-Limuru Road.
The road starts at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, along the Nairobi-Mombasa Road and continues along the existing roadway to the Likoni Road Junction, a distance of approximately 12 kilometres.
From the Likoni Road junction, the toll highway continues northwards to the James Gichuru Road junction, a distance of approximately 12.5 kilometres.
From there, the road continues for about 25 kilometres to Rironi, along the Nairobi–Nakuru Road, where the toll highway ends.
The total length of the toll highway is about 50 kilometres.
Kenya contracted China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) to build this toll road on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis.
CRBC will use their own money to construct the road expansion, interchanges and toll stations after which they will collect the toll fees until their investment is recovered, then the road will be reverted to the government.
The cost of the toll highway is quoted as between Sh51 billion and Sh65 billion with works being done in stages.
The 50-km road aims at easing traffic from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport heading into the Nairobi city centre.
The work involves expansion of the existing road to four-lanes one-way, (8 lanes total), with footpaths, drainage channels, overpass bridges and street lighting.
This fact-check was produced by the Star in partnership with Code for Africa’s iLAB data journalism programme, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie