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Construction of the Southern by-pass on course despite land wrangles

By Winsley Masese | March 30th 2014
Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure officials say ongoing construction works at the by-pass by the Chinese firm China Road and Bridge Corporation will be completed on time. [PICTURE: FILE]

By Winsley Masese

Nairobi, Kenya: Construction of the Sh17.2 billion Southern Bypass road is proceeding according to plan, ahead of commissioning at the end of June next year.

“We are on schedule to deliver within the targeted timelines,” said Project Leader Shu Yilli.

“As soon as the pending issues are resolved by the authorities, we shall be in a position to execute some of the remaining phases of the project,” he added. The project is being implemented by China Road and Bridge Corporation for Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA).

 The new dual carriageway, whose aim is to free the city’s main traffic corridor through Uhuru Highway, is half-way complete, with the asphalt concrete already laid on most sections.

Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and line parastatals have also expressed satisfaction with progress so far, though there were concerns over the slow pace of land excision from the Nairobi National Park and Kenya Forest Service around Ngong to be taken up by the road. The acquisition of land from the national park has been stopped through a court injunction.

Further constrained

There is also the possibility that the project could fail to meet its targets if the issue is not resolved by July this year.

It has also further constrained the working space available to the contractor. Infrastructure PS Eng John Mosonik led the delegation from the Ministry.

KeNHA Director-General Meshack Kidenda, Mwangi Maingi of Kenya Rural Roads Authority and Eng Joseph Nkadayo of Kenya Urban Roads Authority accompanied him.The Nairobi Southern Bypass is a proposed dual carriageway is a  28.6km long with a 12km slip road and 16.5km service roads stretching from  Mombasa Road to Limuru Road at Kikuyu town. It crosses through the Nairobi National Park. Awarded in November 2010, the project is slated for commissioning by end of June 2015.

 The Contractor is set to partially complete and open to public traffic the section between Kibera and Dagoretti Road by July this year, and between Dagoretti and Kikuyu by December this year.

The Southern Bypass is part of ongoing investments on the country’s infrastructure. Bypasses are intended to reduce congestion on main roads.

Once the Southern Bypass is completed, it is hoped that vehicles headed for destinations other than Nairobi will use it and forego the city centre, thus decongesting the city. It will also offer city motorists a wider range of options for reaching their destinations.

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