Nairobi County government has launched Sh6.1 billion construction and rehabilitation of Nairobi Eastern Missing Link roads with the completion date set for next one year.
The project comprises building a road to connect lower central business district to Park Road. It will also cover 800 metres of Accra Road linking Ngara Road and Quarry Road, which is roughly a two-kilometre stretch.
“This launch is part of missing link No.16 whose construction was delayed due to the encroachment of road reserves by small-scale traders, jua kali artisans and mechanics,” the county government said in a statement.
In January, the Kenya Urban Road Authority made a public appeal to the public to vacate the road corridor within 60 days, a move that was met with resistance.
Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony on Accra Road, Governor Evans Kidero urged encroaching traders to allow the construction to take place, pointing out that it would benefit them.
“Please do not fight with the contractors. They are here to make the city a better place and not to interfere with your business. Just pave way when they get to your place,” said Mr Kidero.
Mr Kidero assured mechanics that they will not be evicted during the construction, hence no need to resist.
Construction of the missing link roads is meant to reduce traffic congestion in the capital and accelerate economic growth.
Governor Kidero urged small traders to apply for the title deeds for their business spaces, pledging that his administration would work with the National Land Commission to fast track their issuance.
He also waived Sh139,000 land rates for small traders working in Ngara.
Meanwhile, three city roads have been renamed and unveiled by Mr Kidero. Forest Road will henceforth be called Prof Wangari Maathai Road in honour of the late Nobel laureate for her conservation work.
Speaking during the renaming of Forest Road, Mr Kidero said that the late Prof Maathai was admirably resilient in fighting against land grabbing, most memorable, at Karura Forest.
“If it was not for Prof Maathai’s love for the country, greedy land grabbers would have taken over the Uhuru Park and Karura Forest,”said Mr Kidero.
The road connecting City Hall Annex and Cardinal Otunga Plaza was named Maurice Cardinal Otunga Road in honour of the late bishop while Cross Road will now be known as Charles Rubia Road after the first African Mayor for Nairobi.