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Smooth ride for motorists ahead as Southern by-pass works begin

By Lonah Kibet | Published Thu, May 23rd 2013 at 00:00, Updated May 22nd 2013 at 22:54 GMT +3

By Lonah Kibet

Nairobi, Kenya: Traffic snarl-ups along Uhuru Highway in Nairobi will decline after the Government completes the Southern by-pass project.

The road to be constructed at Sh17 million under Kenya National Highway Authority (Kenha) will be used by heavy trucks from Mombasa transporting goods to Malaba and other regions. The vehicles will be diverted to the by-pass in a move to help ease traffic along Uhuru Highway and Waiyaki Way.

The by-pass will be dual carriage with four lanes and will cover 28.6km with 12km slip roads and 8.5km service roads whose locations are to be decided soon.

Two per cent

Kenha special projects manager and project lead Eng Paul Omondi said the road is funded by the Government and Exim Bank, China as a concession loan to be repaid at a low interest rate for 15 years.

“The Government has funded 15 per cent of the project and the remaining percentage is a concession loan from Exim Bank China at a 2 per cent interest rate, which is really cheap,” said Omondi.

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He said the project starts at Likoni Road and connects with the existing Gitaru Road along the Nakuru-Nairobi Highway ending at Kikuyu town.

“The road will pass over Mombasa Road from Likoni Road, where a full cover-leaf interchange is under construction, then crosses the National Park westward and goes through Langata, Ngong, Dagoretti and Thigito roads and thereafter passes over Ondiri Swamp and railway line towards Kikuyu town,” he said.

He added: “The use of cover interchange will be the first in Kenya. Cars passing through the interchanges will not have to stop and wait for others from the other direction to pass. It will be an express way for all cars.”

Omondi was speaking during a media tour of the road, which started from the site of the construction company, China Road and Bridge Cooperation, along Langata Road.

The construction at Ondiri Swamp was what captured everyone’s attention where a 121m long culvert was being constructed to control discharge of water down stream.

“We are also looking at protecting the environment as we continue with our work. This swamp is a source of water to Nairobi River. We had to find a way to construct the road without interfering with the swamp,” said Omondi.

He noted there will special features on the road, which include fully lit streetlights and intersections.

An interchange with three loops will also be constructed at Dagoretti overpass. The initial design across Langata Road was to be an overpass but after consultation with Kenya Airports Authority, an underpass seemed the better option.

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