According to a Kenya National Highways Authority(KeNHA) brief, the project is on schedule despite the Covid 19 restrictions.
It is expected to be completed by 2022, and is a mega infrastructure legacy project.
According to the project scope and description, it will take 39 month to complete the works. Its a joint Engineering Procurement and Construct venture between the China Exim Bank and the Government of Kenya.
The bypass transverses two sub-counties namely, Kabete and Kiambaa both in Kiambu County. The project scope gives the contractor little room to undertake new works, curtailing the demands of the local community. A spot check by Uzalendo news established that CRBC has relocated more than 90 per cent of the power lines.
However, land acquisition challenges have affected the relocation of mega power lines. The Western Bypass passes several towns such as Gitaru, Wangige, Ndenderu and Ruaka It consists of the construction of dual carriageway with a length of 15.3 kilometres and approximately 17.31 kilometres service roads. Construction of seven (7) Grade Separated interchanges at Gitaru, Lower Kabete, Wangige, Kihara, Ndenderu, Rumenye and Ruaka Construction of Ten (10) overpasses and five (5) underpasses
Construction of box culverts and Storm Water drainage structures at designated areas.
Construction of four (4) footbridges and footpaths, Installation of street lighting, Construction of retaining walls, slope protection, noise barriers and common utility service ducts among other features The Contractor is fully mobilized having established the Main Site Office at Lower Kabete, with a current work force of 1495 project employees comprising of 96% (1439) local personnel and 4% (56) expatriates respectively.
Physical progress at the end of October 2020 was estimated to be about 40 per cent. By the end of October 2020 Kenya power Company Limited had relocated 90 per cent of the power lines in section I, 50 per cent in section II and 20 per cent in section III.
As per the approved construction designs, additional land is required to enable relocation of existing KPLC power lines. The unavailability of land for relocating power mains is the main reason why relocation works were incomplete by end September 2020. Encroachment
The construction of the road has experienced considerable delays in some sections due to encroachments. These includes Wangige town due to roadside trading activities and Ruaka because of encroaching properties. It is expected that in the future, efforts will be made for all the other adjacent road infrastructure to be in tandem with the Nairobi Western Bypass road project standards.
The Nairobi Western Bypass project implementation is limited in scope and schedule, and thus the Contractor has no mandate to attend to the enormous stakeholder requests/demands of other additional works. With this understanding; it means concerted efforts should be made and prioritized by the other respective agencies like KURA, KeRRA, County Government and other partners to pursue the upgrading of the spur roads joining onto the Nairobi Western Bypass as well as to ensure drainage channels are provided for to avoid the perennial flooding in residents properties along the project corridor.
The Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) has been reviewing stakeholders concerns and will remain focused to ensure the Nairobi Western Bypass Project will minimize inconveniences and maximize on gains for the residents as intended in the project contract specifications.