Designs of the proposed elevated highway to run above the existing Mombasa Road-Uhuru Highway and Waiyaki Way have been completed.
The project, which will be financed by the World Bank at a preliminary cost of US$200 million, is set to start next January and the upgrade will be ready for traffic in 2015. It is hoped the overpass will ease traffic congestion in the city and environs.
According to the design consultants, Otieno Odongo Engineering Consultants, the proposed design will get rid of the roundabouts between Nyayo Stadium and Westlands which cause the most congestion. "In order to address the near traffic crisis we are experiencing in the urban centres, especially during the peak hours of morning and evening, we are engaging other stakeholders to come up with long-term solutions," says Eng. Denis Odeck, the manager in charge of the Nairobi Urban Transport Improvement Project (NUTRIP).
Project team leader Brian Segar of COWI Consulting Engineers and Planners said yesterday that the total road improvement would cover 12km starting from the Likoni Road junction at Ole Sereni Hotel to James Gichuru junction off Waiyaki Way. At the Kapiti/Popo roads junction in South B and C, the consultants have proposed an overpass over Mombasa Road linking the two roads with a diamond type ramp on the South B side to minimize land acquisition. On the South C side, there will be a quarter link behind the estate from Mombasa Road.
The Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) flyover linking KIMC with South C will not be tampered with, but there will be rehabilitation of the road asphalt and kerbs, with additional repaintings on the road markings. Segar said there will be a major overhaul of the Nyayo Stadium roundabout, notorious for contributing ti traffic congestion. An overpass will be built from Langata Road to link with Lusaka Road in Industrial Area.
The consultants Senior Urban Highway Design Engineer, Asoka Prasantha said the Nyayo stadium roundabout will be demolished to pave way for a 'single point diamond interchange.' "Motorists from the airport will use the existing road, driving past what is now the roundabout and head towards the city centre," Asoka said. He added that a 'difficult interchange' will replace the Bunyala Road roundabout with prospects of the Aerodrome Road being closed completely. "Motorists coming from Upper Hill to the airport will drive on top of an overpass which will be built, towards Bunyala Road, then take a left turn near the church then join Uhuru Highway after going through the loop," Asoka added.
When approaching Haile Selassie roundabout, an elevated roadway-viaduct will be constructed which will end past the current University Way roundabout. Haile Selassie Rroad, Kenyatta Avenue and University Way will all pass below the elevated roadway-viaduct. With the Museum Hill Interchange sorted out as part of the nearly complete Thika Superhighway Improvement Project, the project proposes the elimination of the U-Turns at Riverside Drive and access roads to Parklands, with an over bridge on top of the Westlands roundabout to be built to maintain accessibility.
Kenya National Highways Authority director general Eng. Meshack Kidenda said the detailed engineering design of the project proposes restriction to the roads available, and not to demolish existing private property on the roads. "We have property owners who may be affected by the project, but we are restricting ourselves to the current road reserves which are available on the 12km stretch. No property owner should be worried," Kidenda said.
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