China Wu Yi firms grip on Kenya roads with Sh16bn Waiyaki Way contract


A busy footbridge on Waiyaki Way in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | DENISH OCHIENG |

Chinese engineering group China Wu Yi has won a Sh16.4 billion contract for the expansion of a 25km stretch of Waiyaki Way starting from James Gichuru Road junction to Mai Mahiu turnoff on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

The planned upgrade is part of a World Bank-funded mega roads expansion project to decongest Nairobi that involves conversion of the 45.2km road between the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Rironi into a superhighway.

In a bid to ease traffic to and from the airport and around the city, the roads between these two points will be converted into a superhighway replete with interchanges as well as service and bus lanes, among other features.

“The project is expected to ease traffic flow into and out of the city of Nairobi, and is one of the three major projects earmarked to decongest the city along the Northern Corridor alignment,” the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) Director General Peter Mundinia said in a statement Wednesday.

Mr Mundinia said major works that will be undertaken on the road section by the Chinese firm include reconstruction of the 25 km dual carriageway highway with 10.5 metres width (that is, 3 lanes) of each carriageway.

This therefore means that the highway will be expanded to a six-lane highway.

It will also involve construction of 44km service roads 6 metres wide and the construction of 3.4 metres wide non-motorized transport lanes on either side of the entire length of highway to enhance road users’ safety.

Additionally, approximately 16km of collector roads will be upgraded to paved standard, to provide connectivity to communities living adjacent to the project road.

At the same time, 13 bridges at interchange locations, 21 pedestrian overpasses and 5 underpasses will be built. There will be provision of street lights along the project road.

The key contractor of Thika Super-highway, was also contracted to build the Garsen-Witu-Lamu road at a cost of Sh10.4 billion.

The project will be funded by the World Bank and the government under the National Urban Transport Improvement Project.

It will take a period of three years to complete, once a Resettlement Action Plan for the Projects Affected Persons is effected, KeNHA said.

The other components of the mega plan, which KeNHA says will be implemented in due course, are expansion of JKIA to Likoni Road Junction, and of Likoni Road Junction to James Gichuru Road Junction.

The resettlement of affected occupants of sections in the road is planned to be carried out in the next 12 weeks.

The mega plan to free up the city of traffic is divided into three sections from JKIA all the way to Rironi.

Section 1 will start from JKIA and go to Likoni Road Junction (Southern Bypass Interchange). Section 2 will then go from Likoni Road Junction to James Gichuru Road Junction (near ABC place).

Section 3 will be from James Gichuru Road Junction ending at Rironi.