Nairobi commuters, who’ve often spent hours in massive traffic jams to and from work, will breathe a sigh of relief after the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) reopened five roads.
The roads had been closed to allow for the construction of the Nairobi Expressway.
The Authority released a statement saying that the Expressway project is 75 percent complete. It is projected to be complete and open to public use in June 2022. Several roads connected to the project were closed causing massive traffic along the route.
Routes that have been reopened include Sameer Park connected to Southern Bypass, Gateway Mall to Hilton Gardens, and Mlolongo Weighbridge to KAPA Oil Industries.
David Osielli Road through to Aga Khan School and Museum Hill access road have also been reopened.
More sections to reopen in December
The authority expects two more roads to reopen in December.
Haille Selassie to University Way Roundabout as well as Gateway Mall area will be opened by December 15, according to KeNHA.
But it warned that five spots along the 25 km stretch are still likely to experience traffic congestion due to ongoing construction. These spots include the U-turn from Allpack service road, Gateway Mall, General Motors (GM) area, Capital Center, and Bunyala Road-University Way roundabout.
KeNHA urged motorists to exercise road courtesy and caution to make traffic management and flow easier.
The scope of the project
The Nairobi Expressway will be 27.1 km, stretching from Westlands to Mlolongo. 18.2 km of the expressway, from Mlolongo to the Southern Bypass and Westlands to James Gichuru junction, will be a roadbed while the remaining 8.9 km from the Southern Bypass to Westlands will be elevated.
The 8.9 km stretch will be the main road of the expressway.
The Nairobi Expressway will have a four-lane and six-lane dual carriageway within the existing median of Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway, and Waiyaki Way as well as 10 interchanges.
The section between the Eastern and Southern bypasses will be a six-lane dual carriageway while the section from to the Eastern Bypass and that from the Southern Bypass to James Gichuru will be a four-lane dual carriageway.
The Nairobi Masterplan
State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita described the project as a game changer for Nairobi.
“This project fits in the Nairobi Masterplan,” he said.
“I can say without fear of any contradiction that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s commitment to bridging the infrastructure gap will be honoured by the time his term comes to an end.”
It is expected to reduce travel from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to the city from three hours to just 20 minutes. It will also be a key section of the Northern Corridor. The corridor, which runs across East and Central Africa countries of Burundi, Eastern DR Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda from the port of Mombasa, provides passage to 85 percent of cargo to landlocked neighbouring countries.
More than 4,000 Kenyans have been employed on the Expressway project since it began in 2020.