Twin bypasses set to ease perennial traffic

A map showing the ongoing eastern and western bypasses project around Meru town. [Courtesy, Standard]
The anticipated completion of two bypasses around Meru town is good news for residents who have railed against traffic gridlocks for several years.

There are limited routes to Meru town and motorists from Nairobi can only access it through the Kathita bridge.

On weekdays, getting into town from Makutano, Nkubu and surrounding areas is a nightmare that has left motorists and commuters frustrated.

"Going to and from work is a bad experience for us who live in Makutano, Nkubu, Kariene and other areas because of traffic. We want the bypasses completed," said Nancy Nkatha, a resident.

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Completion of the eastern and western bypasses is expected to ease traffic flow in Meru town, through which all types of vehicles, including heavy trucks and those ferrying miraa, pass.

In addition, a planned dual carriageway to start in Gitimbine near the entry to Meru town and end in Gitoro will open up the traffic flow.

The bypasses will provide an avenue for heavy vehicles and public service vehicles, which have been cited as major culprits of the traffic gridlocks.

“Meru town is growing fast and with it has come the problem of traffic congestion. Several man hours are lost in the gridlocks,” said Kenneth Mwenda, the new chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Meru branch).

Hotelier Eric Gitonga said it was frustrating to take up to 30 minutes to move from Gitimbine to town instead of one minute.

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The western bypass begins in Gikumene, off the Meru-Chuka road, cutting through Giantune and connecting with the Meru-Nanyuki highway at Gitoro in the Makutano area.

The eastern bypass starts in Gikumene and passes through the Mati and Meru-Mikinduri roads, and connects with the Meru-Maua road in Kaithe.

The construction was originally planned for completion by September 2016.

“The contractor has been given up to September but he may finish by March 2019,” said Imenti North MP Rahim Dawood at the weekend.

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