NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 5 – Uhuru Highway is set to undergo major revamping beginning next year that will ease the flow of traffic from Likoni Road to the James Gichuru interchange.
Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) Director General Meshack Kidenda said the construction is scheduled to begin in 2013 with completion expected by 2015.
“The section we are working on is 12 kilometres between St. James Hospital and James Gichuru; building an elevated road or flyover. We’ll replace the roundabouts as well,” he said.
Other improvements will include proper pedestrian pavements, service roads and a functional storm water drainage system.
In addition the design will also include a bus rapid transit (BRT) lane to streamline the flow of public service vehicles on the highway.
“Bus rapid transit is a concept where you use high capacity buses that carry 200 people in a dedicated lane so they have right of way. They are programmed and timed so they are reliable,” he explained.
The project that is funded by the government and the World Bank is part of KeNHA’s larger plan to improve the thoroughfare from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Rironi.
The designs by Danish firm COWI, are still in the consultative phase involving local stakeholders.
However, until those plans are finalised local authorities will be taking preliminary measures to ensure safety on the roads during construction to avoid the incidents of the Thika Superhighway Project.
“We are coming up with a construction travel management mechanism with the contractor, to give road users a guide on use of the road during construction,” Senior Superintendent of Police Leonard Katana said.
He added that they will put up a control centre equipped with CCTV cameras to monitor activity on the road.
On Wednesday, police will be on a fact finding mission to gather data on the number of vehicles on the road and views from motorists on the anticipated changes on Uhuru Highway.
“This is not a crackdown. From 7am to 7pm tomorrow (Wednesday) we will be on Mombasa Road especially at Kapiti and next to Nyayo Stadium and we will stop vehicles randomly and ask them what they think should be done on the road,” he said.
They will also be along Waiyaki Way before James Gichuru and Thika Road as well as the Southern and Eastern bypasses.