Corporate News

Bett rules out demolitions ahead of link road project

Share Bookmark Print Rating
A section of Uhuru highway at the Museum Hill overpass. The Roads ministry has ruled out compulsory acquisition of land for the JKIA-Rironi highway. Photo/William Oeri

A section of Uhuru highway at the Museum Hill overpass. The Roads ministry has ruled out compulsory acquisition of land for the JKIA-Rironi highway. Photo/William Oeri  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ALLAN ODHIAMBO

Posted  Tuesday, October 2   2012 at  21:19

In Summary

  • The project, which includes construction of an overpass on Uhuru Highway, will instead be confined to the existing road reserves and the island on Mombasa Road and Uhuru highway, Roads minister Franklin Bett said.
  • Mr Bett said the government had opted for a new design that will use the available space to build the extra lanes and the pillars to support the overpass.
  • The highway, which is co-funded by the government and the World Bank to the tune of Sh25.5 billion, has eight components, including construction of additional lanes on the 12-kilometre stretch between JKIA and Nyayo Stadium.

Businesses and property owners along Nairobi’s Mombasa Road have been spared losses after the government announced that it will not require additional land for the reconstruction of the 50-kilometre JKIA-Rironi highway.

The project, which includes construction of an overpass on Uhuru Highway, will instead be confined to the existing road reserves and the island on Mombasa Road and Uhuru highway, Roads minister Franklin Bett said.

The decision ends months of speculation that the building of the highway, meant to ease congestion in the city, would involve compulsory acquisition of additional land and demolition of prime property on both sides of the road. 

Mr Bett said the government had opted for a new design that will use the available space to build the extra lanes and the pillars to support the overpass.

“We are not acquiring any land for this project. Even the overpass will have its pillars stand on the existing island,” Mr Bett said.

The highway, which is co-funded by the government and the World Bank to the tune of Sh25.5 billion, has eight components, including construction of additional lanes on the 12-kilometre stretch between JKIA and Nyayo Stadium.

It also involves construction of an elevated road with two lanes on each side between Nyayo Stadium and Museum Hill Roundabout and the building of additional lanes from Museum Hill Roundabout to Uthiru.

The 18-kilometre section between Uthiru and Rironi is also to be rehabilitated while the Airport South Road will be turned into a dual carriageway with access roads to the Inland Container Depot at Embakasi.

“Our consultants are in the final stages of the design but the concept will certainly not require extra land,” Mr Bett said.

Senior officials from the Ministry of Roads said the new design also lowers the risk of contravening the World Bank’s policy on social and environmental impact of sponsored projects, including resettlement of displaced persons.

The government had initially planned to build a 77-kilometre pay-for-use road between the Athi River Junction on Mombasa Road and Kikuyu on the Naivasha highway with toll booths near the Sameer Business Park.

Construction of such facilities required substantial parcels of land on either side of the highway that would have required additional land acquisition and demolition of buildings.

Under the initial plan, the road would be built and managed through a concession consisting of six sections totalling 77km. The 30-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) deal would have seen motorists use the facility for a fee commonly referred to as “toll charges” payable to the concessionaire.

Initial estimates indicated that users would pay about Sh572 per day.

1 | 2 | 3 Next Page »