Nakuru is set to benefit from Sh1.8 billion worth of low-volume sealed roads when the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) moves to ease traffic congestion in the town.
The three-year project seeks to pave 22 kilometres of roads diverting from the major highway, a development expected to reduce the number of vehicles that pass through the town’s centre.
KURA Planning and Environment General Manager Daniel Muchiri, who toured project sites on Monday, said the roads will link several residential, industrial and trading centres.
“Traffic congestion in Nakuru is caused by the fact that all vehicles must access the town even though they don’t need to,” said Mr Muchiri.
The roads serve Menengai and Milimani estates and seek to improve the access to Nakuru GK Prison, London estate and part of the western side of the town.
They also link Industrial Area, Kaptembwa, Bondeni, Naka, Free Area and Mwariki estates of the eastern part of the town. The project being carried out by Chinese firm Weihai International Economic and Technical Cooperative is set to run for 30 months. “We have not set a specific figure on the amount to be spent on the projects in Nakuru but it will be distributed across three financial years,” he said.
Mr Muchiri said that Sh181.5 million had already been paid to the contractor to start the project.
“The project also entails construction of walkways, culverts, bridges and soil erosion protectors,” he said.
KURA’s South Rift Regional Manager Sylvia Mwangi said the contractor was still mobilising equipment for implementation of the project.
Mrs Mwangi said that KURA was carrying out a feasibility study on the construction of two bypasses.
“We have suggested routes that are being examined for suitability and once it is done the project will kick off,” she said.
Mr Muchiri said that they face challenges including fences, power lines and business premises along the routes.
“We have also been forced to reroute some essential services like water pipes, drainage systems and power lines falling within the road radius,” said Mr Muchiri.
Nakuru town, located along the Nairobi-Malaba highway, has been experiencing traffic congestion due to an increase in the number of road users.