More pain for motorists as KeNHA closes major city roads

Nairobi Expressway

Nairobi Expressway under construction. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

Motorists are set for long traffic hours as a roads agency closes two major city roads to allow for the ongoing construction of the Nairobi Expressway.

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) said from Monday motorists using the Capital Centre access and Waiyaki Way have to find alternative routes.

KeNHA said that the closure of the ramp from Waiyaki Way to Prof Wangari Maathai Road will last for a period of 34 days, starting June 28, 2021.

“This is to pave way for construction of the Nairobi Expressway along Mombasa Road. Motorists are advised to use alternative routes. KeNHA apologises for the inconvenience as it tries to provide an efficient, safe and reliable road network,” the authority said.

KeNHA Director-General Peter Mundinia added that the Capital Centre access along Mombasa Road will be closed for 20 days from Monday to July 17.

Traffic jams

The closure of the two roads will worsen the already chaotic traffic jams heightened by ongoing road construction.

Since work on the expressway started, Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway and Waiyaki Way have seen cars piling up for hours during peak commuting time.

Overlapping and accidents have become a common feature despite the deployment of additional traffic police officers.

In April, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia termed the road users' experiences as 'very short-time pain'.

“In the meantime, I know there are a lot of inconveniences as people are spending longer hours in traffic but the reason we are constructing the Nairobi Expressway is to solve the traffic jam that was there before. If there was no traffic congestion before, there would be no justification to construct the highway. This pain we are having now is a very short-term pain,” he said.

The 27-kilometre expressway is being built by China Road and Bridge Corporation at a cost of Sh62 billion and is expected to be completed in December 2021.

Kenyans will pay toll fees to use the road running from Mlolongo on Mombasa Road to the James Gichuru Junction in Westlands.

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