Motorists using the Nairobi-Thika highway should expect a smoother ride soon after works on removal of speed bumps and rumble strips on the key road began over the weekend.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) finally succumbed to pressure from road users and Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko to remove the bumps, which motorists say have made driving on the highway a tedious affair.
The roads agency began removing the bumps on some sections as part of the plan to completely eradicate all such speed breakers on the road.
While responding to a concerned resident on Twitter last week, Mr Sonko had promised to ensure the speed bumps and rumble strips were removed to ease congestion.
The resident had asked the new governor to honour a pledge he made while gunning for the city’s gubernatorial seat that he would see to their removal within the first 50 days of his tenure.
“50 days ni nyingi (50 days is a lot of time). Will begin next (this) week on Thursday asubuhi na mapema (very early in the morning),” Mr Sonko had said.
KeNHA, in a statement, said procurement procedures were underway to erect pedestrian footbridges along sections of the road including Survey, Ruaraka and Witeithie.
The agency urged road users to cooperate with those carrying out maintenance works, assuring road users that the works they were doing would enhance smooth traffic flow and safety of pedestrians.
“We urge motorists and pedestrians to cooperate with traffic marshals along the maintenance sites to ensure smooth traffic flow,” read the statement by KeNHA in part.
High Court order
Mr Sonko, then a Senator, took KeNHA to court in 2015, arguing in a petition that the erection of bumps along the highway had resulted in huge traffic snarl-ups.
In his ruling in February this year, Justice George Odunga gave the Ministry of Transport and the Nairobi City County 60 days to remove the bumps and rumble strips near the Survey of Kenya offices and Kenya Breweries plant in Ruaraka, stating that there was no rationale for erecting rumble strips and bumps yet footbridges were available at the mentioned points.
However, the directive was not adhered to until last weekend when the roads agency finally gave in.
The move will come as a relief to motorists who have had to endure traffic snarl-ups that build up as early as 6 a.m. with tailbacks stretching over several kilometres.