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Outer Ring road to be closed Monday for reconstruction

By Macharia Kamau | Apr 20th 2019 | 2 min read
By Macharia Kamau | April 20th 2019

Industries and individual motorists using the newly built Outer Ring road should brace themselves for major inconveniences over the next three months as the Government rebuilds a segment of the road.

The junction linking the road to Thika Highway will be closed beginning Monday to enable the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) build a new interchange to improve traffic flow.

The plan will bring much relief to road users but also expose more flaws of the new road, which are now being corrected at an extra cost.

“Due to the ongoing construction works to improve the junction between Thika Super Highway and Outer Ring Road, the public is hereby notified that the contractor shall close the overpass at GSU Headquarters as from Monday April 22 till Thursday July 18, 2019,” said the road agency in a notice yesterday.

While the new Outer Ring road is much better than its two-lane, pothole-filled predecessor and has helped reduce traffic where motorists would sit for hours, it has failed to live up to the hype and instead brought about new challenges for motorists and pedestrians.

The junction has been a pain for users accessing Thika Road from Outer Ring and those trying to get on to the new road from the highway due to traffic congestion, sometimes stretching for kilometres - largely due to oversight by Kura in the road’s design phases.

Major oversight

The 13-kilometre Outer Ring Road was constructed at a cost of Sh14 billion and completed in June 2017. Kura has in the past noted that the current design for the junction may not have been well thought.

The junction at the GSU Headquarters is not the only segment of the road that appears to have been subject of major oversight, with the contractor having to incorporate footbridges long after the road was commissioned.

Construction of the footbridges, at an extra cost of close to Sh1 billion, is yet to be completed. The road also came with minimal bus stops, despite the huge number of residents using public transport.

The road does not have clearly marked pedestrian walkways or cycling lanes. There are also lanes that are missing when the complete project is compared with the initial design.

In the notice, Kura said motorists that need to access Outer Ring Road from Thika would have to go all the way to the Garden City Roundabout.   

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