China firm starts work on Sh17 billion Western bypass
A Chinese contractor has finally began construction of the 16.7-kilometre Western bypass.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) is implementing the project, which is being undertaken by the China Road and Bridge Corporation, at a cost of Sh17 billion.
KeNHA Director General Peter Mundinia said the road construction was financed by the Exim Bank of China and would run for 39 months.
“The road project starts from Gitaru and terminates at Ruaka on the Northern bypass in Kiambu County,” Eng Mundinia said.
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Although the design of the road and works started three years ago, the contractor only got to the site this month after the financing deal was signed. President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to commission the project soon.
The bypass has been identified as a link necessary for the completion of a system of ring roads around Nairobi to divert traffic away from the central business district.
The road, which will feature the construction of a two-lane dual carriageway, will link the Southern bypass at Gitaru to the Northern bypass in Ruaka.
Other features will include 17.4km of service lanes, seven interchanges at the major junctions of Wangige, Kihara, Ndenderu, Ruminyi, Kabete, Banana and Ruaka; five underpasses and three foot bridges.
The contract also entails building a bus park at Wangige, 10km of walkways and footpaths, 11 box culverts for storm water drainage and street lighting with 16 high masts.
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KeNHA is also constructing the James Gichuru-Rironi road with an interchange at Kamandura at a cost of Sh16 billion.
The project will comprise the Bus Rapid Transport system that is expected to decongest the city of Nairobi when it is implemented by the Nairobi Metropolitan Authority.
Kiambu will also benefit from the ongoing construction of the Ruiru-Githunguri-Uplands road at a cost of Sh4 billion.
KeNHA says it has elaborate plans to improve roads around Machakos, Kajiado and Kiambu.
Designs are currently being drawn up for the dualling of the Muthaiga-Kiambu-Ndumberi road, which is expected to ease traffic between Nairobi and Kiambu.
Other projects in the pipeline include the dualling of the Kiambu-Kirigiti-Tatu City-Kibichoi-Mang’u-Thika road and the Kiambu-Ndumberi-Limuru road.