Prepare to sleep in Mombasa Road traffic during construction of Nairobi Expressway
Construction on the Nairobi Expressway may have started just last month, but its effects have been felt by many motorists due to the perpetual traffic jam on Mombasa Road.
Edward Manyasa, a motorist, lamented how it now takes him more than an hour to drive from Mlolongo to Bellevue, a distance of less than six kilometres.
“They closed one lane and traffic is heavy at Mlolongo. It snakes slowly to Imara Daima where it eases a bit only to slow down again as you approach Bellevue because one lane has been blocked,” said Manyasa.
Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) on the other hand, urged motorists to comply with traffic management plans and follow the direction of traffic marshals as well as road signage.
Kenha said the temporary disruption of flow of traffic on some sections of Mombasa Road and Uhuru Highway is due to the construction of the Nairobi Expressway.
“The contractors will minimise disruption of traffic as works are expected on the project road between JKIA turnoff-Cabanas, Next Gen Mall-Capital Centre and Kenyatta Avenue- University Way roundabout,” KeNHA director general Peter Mundinia said.
Mundinia said although construction will be limited to the central median of Mombasa Road, closure of a single lane on either side of the highway may be effected to ensure safety of motorists.
“We apologise for the inconveniences caused as we endeavour to improve the existing infrastructure along this critical section of the Mombasa-Nairobi Highway,” he said.
The Nairobi Expressway project is a partnership between China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and KeNHA.
Construction has started on a 27.1km expressway project, which will run from Mlolongo off Mombasa Road to James Gichuru Road in Nairobi’s Lavington area. The project, due for completion in December 2022, will be financed through a Public Private Partnership agreement.
Nairobi is the most densely populated city in Kenya, with more than 4.3 million people. As the city’s population increases and the number of vehicles on the roads rise (by more than 60 per cent between 2012 and 2018), congestion in the city is reaching a point where commuters can easily spend three hours travelling from one side of the city to another.
A major contributing factor to the congestion is the fact that Nairobi CBD is a major link to most regions in Nairobi County.