, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 20 – The Transport and Infrastructure Ministry has given assurance that all major road construction within Nairobi County will be finished within the set timelines in a bid to ease congestion.
Infrastructure Principal Secretary John Mosonik told journalists on Thursday this was prompted by the need to address the challenges of heavy traffic flows particularly during peak hours.
“The development of an effective and efficient road infrastructure is an asset to the economy. Roads facilitate over 90 percent of all trade and human traffic movement in the country, which makes the road sub-sector a key enabler to the realisation of the Kenya Vision 2030 developments goals,” he said.
“The development of urban roads, especially in Nairobi is crucial in ensuring there is minimal congestion for vehicular traffic. There is also need to provide pedestrians and non-motorised traffic with adequate and safe facilities in the city.”
To ensure the safety of pedestrians and non-motorised traffic, he said the new roads will have sections set for these groups as well as bus routes.
In a bid to ensure all projects remain within the acceptable standards, he said that there will be public-private partnership programmes in maintaining roads and involvement of security agencies to stop vandalism.
“This is a persistent challenge, which is costing the Government millions of shillings through damaged road furniture such as guardrails, traffic signs and street lighting,” he said.
Other challenges include high costs of roads construction, supervision and capacity constraints.
“Lack of adequate engineers is a challenge to project management and effective supervision. This shortage impacts negatively on the desired standard and efficiency,” he regretted.
He said there was urgent need to improve the capacity of engineers and other technical professionals in the road sub-sector.
He also singled out encroachment as a major challenge, “which is hindering fast development of roads in many parts of the city.”
As a result, he said the ministry was working closely with the National Land Commission to settle issues related to land acquisition, valuation and repossession as fast as it is practically possible.
Among the roads is the Upper Hill road which he said it will be through by August this year, Outer Ring, Ngong road and Mombasa road.
The 28.6 Kilometres Nairobi Southern Bypass, he said it will be develop into a dual carriageway from Mombasa Road where an interchange will be constructed linking with Kabete-Limuru Road at Kikuyu town.
The road which is 47.5 percent complete is being constructed at a cost of Sh17.1 billion, with the Exim bank of China providing 85 percent funding and the government catering for the remaining 15 percent. It is expected to be completed by July, 2015.
“The overall goal of developing these projects is to reduce road transport costs within the Nairobi Metropolitan region. This will be manifested through shorter travel time, improved security, and safety for pedestrians and cyclists due to construction of non-motorised traffic facilities and decongestion of surrounding roads,” he pointed out.