After the advent of the first coronavirus case in the country, President Uhuru Kenyatta crafted a series of measures to have Kenyans maintain minimal movement – By Gerald Gekara.
Among the measures, is the advisory to have companies work from home. This greatly eased the pressure on Kenyan roads, with little or no businesses going on.
Therefore the Ministry of Transport took up the golden opportunity to initiate road works by the government. Some of these projects include:-
Bridges Damaged by floods:
The Kenya National Highways Authority embarked on a series of road repairs to roads damaged by floods. Siyiapei Bridge situated along the Narok – Maimahiu bridge was rendered impassable but was quickly repaired to restore movement between the vusy road.
Other roads that were repaired include; Mugeni bridge located between Sotik and Chebilat, Nzoia bridge at Shibale, Marurua bridge along Lolgorian – Kehancha road, and the Ortum Box culvert along the Kitale – Lodwar.
Rural Road upgrades.
In an interactive section with Kenyans online, State Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita took to social media to ask Kenyans to share photos and videos of completed road works within their rural homes.
The interaction went viral as Kenyans posted pictures of recently completed tarmac that falls under the mandate of the government, recent developments include the prestigious Kitui and Kibwezi road that is being upgraded by the Kenya National Highways Authority.
The Western Bypass that began at Gitaru, has been on course despite fears that Coronvirus restrictions would deter the project. The project is being undertaken by the China Road and Bridge Corporation.
Other projects include the construction of a 540 Km network of roads within the Mount Kenya region, dubbed the Mau Mau roads. The ambitious venture by the government seeks to upgrade road facilities in order to ease the movement of food and other raw materials, eventually boosting economic activities in the counties.
Works on Kenya’s very first Expressway that seeks to eradicate traffic jams from the busy Mombasa Road have kicked off. The expressway will start at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport all the way to Rironi, Waiyaki way and will span a total of 27.1 Km.
Preliminary works including the movement of water pipes, fiberoptic cables and other piping infrastructure have already began. The project is set to be complete by 2023.
However, the project is facing delays from court injunctions by Nature Activists for its ‘damaging effect’ on Nairobi’s environment.
NMS/KURA ‘Pedestrian-centered’ City venture
The newly implemented taskforce that supervises the Transition of key functions from Nairobi County governments, Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) embarked on a mission to edge out traffic within the CBD.
Several streets including Kenyatta Avenue, Upper Hill road, Mbagathi link road, Kilimani and, Luthuli Avenue have been slowly transformed into pedestrian centered streets.
The facelift has provided adequate lighting, bike paths, pedestrian walkways in favor of reducing congestion in the CBD.
The Kenya Urban Roads Authority had also initiated road works including the completion of the Likoni Road overpass, road maintenance within town estates, and is in the process of implementing a viaduct over the Nairobi Railway yard.
The project will see the eradication of traffic in and out of Nairobi through Haile Selassie Avenue and Racecourse Roads, by diverting traffic out of Nairobi through the Industrial Area.