Sh380m footbridges to fall as Expressway takes shape


A pedestrian footbridge at South C’s Bellevue. The bridge has been spared in the construction of the Nairobi Expressway. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

Four pedestrian footbridges that were built at a cost of more than Sh380 million will be demolished and relocated to new sites along the Nairobi Expressway road that is currently under construction.

The pedestrian footbridges are situated in Mlolongo and at Imara Daima near Libra House along Kenya’s first-double decker highway.

The other two footbridges are located in General Motors on Enterprise Road and at St Mark's church in Westlands, Nairobi.

The four bridges on the 27.1km road that links the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to Nairobi-Nakuru highway were built between 2009 and 2015.

“We are demolishing the four footbridges and relocating them to new sites along the corridor. This is a normal thing in road construction,” KeNHA director-general Peter Mundinia told Shipping and Logistics in an interview yesterday.

Mr Mundinia said the Mlolongo footbridge will be relocated to Mulley’s Supermarket off Airport North Road while the Imara Daima footbridge will be relocated to the ASL Packaging on Tecla Lorupe Road.

The General Motors footbridge will be shifted to a new location along Enterprise Road while the St Mark’s Church footbridge will be relocated to Dunhill Towers along Waiyaki Way.

“The footbridges we are demolishing are made of steel. This means that we are not going to put into waste any parts demolished,” he said.

The three-year Expressway project, launched in October last year, is projected to ease heavy traffic on Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway and Waiyaki Way.

Taxpayers have also spent Sh2.1 billion to relocate water and sewerage lines along the highway.

Some Sh1.1 billion will also be spent on relocation of electricity lines along the highway.

Traffic on Mombasa Road usually starts from Mlolongo to the city centre.

Motorists will have the option of using the Expressway to escape the heavy traffic at a fee or toll charges to help the private firm building the road recover its investments.

But those using the lower section of the double-decker highway will be spared the toll charges.

Kenyans will be expected to pay between Sh100 to Sh1,550 in toll charges to use the road. This depends on the size of the vehicle and distance covered.

The road involves a four-lane and six-lane dual carriageway within the existing median of Mombasa Road/Uhuru Highway/Waiyaki Way and 10 interchanges.

A private company funding construction of the Nairobi Expressway will operate the road for 27 years to recoup funds spent in the project before ceding it to the State.

China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) is building the Sh59 billion Nairobi Expressway road set to be completed in December.

The Chinese contractor will plant trees at all affected public places, including Nairobi National Park, Uhuru Park and Arboretum.

The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) also wants CRBC to clean the sections of Nairobi and Ngong Rivers crossed by the expressway.

According to Nema, the measures will open green spaces to compensate for permanent loss of vegetation and destruction of bird habitats at the Nyayo Stadium and Westlands roundabouts.