All roads projects under Nairobi Regeneration Plan are set to be completed by July this year ahead of schedule, Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) has said.
Kura director general Engineer Silas Kinoti said that the Sh2.87 billion project which covers 38 roads, all in Eastlands area, was supposed to be complete by August 14 but it is already over 50 percent complete with most of the roads at advanced stage following an inspection on January 28, 2019.
He said that work on the roads started in September last year and they have already done over half of the 80.3 kilometres that the project was to cover in only three months.
“We are doing road by road and we can say that we are at over 50 percent of the scope. We are optimistic that by July all the roads will be done,” said Eng Kinoti while appearing before a Nairobi County Assembly Transport committee.
The DG explained that the project was divided into three with each given separate one year contracts in July 27, 2018. The contract for Lot 1, covering 32 kilometres of road network, was awarded to Stecol Corporation at Sh950 million and the progress is at 45 percent.
The contract for lot 2, which covers 25.5 kilometres, was awarded to China Roads and Bridges Corporation at Sh1.01 billion. The project is at 40 percent complete as at January 28
China Wu Yi won the contract for lot 3, covering 22.8 kilometres of road network, at Sh895 million with the progress at 35 percent.
He, however, said that the county government of Nairobi, which was to contribute Sh900 million to the project, has only remitted Sh100 million. Kura was to give Sh1.97 billion towards the programme.
Meanwhile, Eng Kinoti said that the urban roads agency has already erected four footbridges along Outer Ring road to enhance safety of non-motorised users after uproar over rising cases of accidents on the road.
In April last year, Kura embarked on the Sh880 million project which was to have 11 footbridges constructed along the road with the contract given to a Chinese firm, Sinohydro Tianjin Engineering Limited.
“The project is still ongoing but at the moment we have done 4 footbridges with 7 more to go. We have also received additional finance to address the issue of safety on the road,” said Kinoti.
The road, which was completed July, 2017 has been blamed for being substandard as it lacks service and emergency lanes, footbridges as well as road markings with crossing the road a major concern as one must jump over two sets of guard rails to reach the other side of the road.
The DG added that they intend to construct 19 bus stops along the road as well as increasing the mobility of the service and access roads to the road to enable faster evacuation and movement of traffic on the road.
“The problem is not the design, it is the way we use our roads as non-motorised traffic. We have designated areas where people are supposed to cross but most choose to go over guard rails as they do not want to walk. We even have policemen manning those pedestrian crossings but people do not want to walk for just 100 metres,” he said.
Eng Kinoti, however, admitted that the agency opened the road for use before it was substantially complete because there was pressure to open the carriage ways for people to use, saying that there is a lot that needs to be done to enhance the road’s safety and movement of traffic.