As Nakuru Town inches closer to the much anticipated city status, the national government has stepped up efforts to give its roads a facelift.
Nakuru, once the cleanest town in the region and probably one of the fastest growing, had seen its roads degenerate into dilapidated state, making some investors to keep off the town.
This situation is however changing. The national government will spend Sh1.8 billion to upgrade 22km of roads, some of which have already been repaired.
The project is part of the 10,000km road upgrade the Jubilee Administration promised upon assuming power.
The first road to be upgraded in the town was Siaya Road that connects the town and GK Prison, an infrastructure that has changed the face of London Estate.
The other key road that was upgraded include the busy Oginga Odinga Road in the middle of the town which was expanded due to ease traffic.
At least 15 roads in the town have been refurbished ahead of the town upgrading to city status.
The expansion of the road network has also seen the Central Business District (CBD) expand with more traders and investors putting up highrise buildings along the refurbished roads.
Property owners are also happy with the revamped road, saying this will attract investors.
“I have an apartment in Section 58 but new tenants shied away because my property was situated along a dusty road. I hope with new road things will change for the better,” said a landlord at Section 58.
The revamped roads network also goes through Industrial Area, Section 58, Kaptembwo, London, Milimani Estate, Ngala area among others, which were once the scenes of impassable roads.
“We have done 16km and that translates to about 90 percent of the total work and what is pending is in progress,” said John Cheboi, assistant director corporate communications at the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura ), which is undertaking the supervision work.
A spot check by Shipping & Logistics revealed that the upmarket Milimani area has taken the lion share of the projects sponsored through Kura. One of the major roads that is set to open up the area is Maragoli Road which will reduce traffic along Nakuru-Nairobi highway and Solai road.
“The vehicles heading to Western Kenya from Nairobi and those from Kiti estate will not need to pass through the CBD as this road will be a faster exit route,” said Mr Cheboi. Area MCA Wilson Mwangi said with revamped infrastructure, Nakuru will attract more investors.
With the recent construction of more than Sh2 billion interchange by the Kenya National Highway Authority (KenHa) at Soilo and Section 58, the improved road network will also boost the movement of traffic in the town, considered the capital of Rift Valley. With the new developments, Nakuru is experiencing growth and influx of industrial investments including the recent entrant Simba Cement factory in Salgaa along Nakuru-Eldoret Highway.
The county government is also assisting in the gravelling of the rural roads under the Boresha Barabara programme which is the brain child of Governor Lee Kinyanjui.
The improvement of roads in the rural area is aimed at enabling ease of movement within the county. The government is also banking on the roads to ease transport of farm produce to the markets and this help in uplifting the standards of living of the residents.