KenHA bets on automation to ease gridlock

A lorry at the Mariakani weighbridge along Mombasa--Nairobi highway. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

The Kenya National Highway Authority (KenHA) has now automated all its weighbridges along the Northern transport corridor to improve its services.

The move is estimated to have reduced congestion and the perennial traffic snarl-up on the weighbridges by over 70 per cent and also enhanced efficiency.

Among the weighbridges that have benefited are Gilgil, Mai Mahiu and Suswa, while the number of mobile weighbridges along the corridor has also increased.

According to Danka Africa Kenya Limited, a company contracted to manage the weighbridges, the compliance levels stood at 99 per cent.

The company assistant operations manager, Mr Jackson Kimuyu said that 70 per cent of the trucks using the corridors were filtered through the new automation system.

He added that only 30 per cent were weighted by automated machines, a move that had led to a swift flow of traffic.

“Around 70 per cent of trucks passing through the weighbridges are filtered by the automated machines and thus they are now weighed thus reducing traffic snarl-up,” he said.

Speaking at Gilgil weighbridge, Kimuyu said that stringent measures introduced on the highway had reduced cases of overloading mainly from local drivers.

“Trailers that are in transit to the neighbouring countries are more compliant than local transporters but we have a mobile unit to address this,” he said.

He at the same time noted that despite the recent introduction of transportation of cargo through the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) many traders still opted to use the road.

On the recent traffic snarl-up that lasted for over 14 hours, Kimuyu blamed this on the narrow road, adding that there was a need to expand it. During the weekend snarl-up, hundreds of motorists were forced to spend the night on the road with the situation worsened by overlapping drivers.