Govt now promises to deliver BRT on Outer Ring Road
The government is set to construct a Bus Rapid Transport along the Outer Ring Road which its dualing is nearing completion.
This comes after Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) said they are in discussion with South Korean Exim Bank for the financing of the BRT project on the route.
KURA Director General Engineer Silas Kinoti, in a statement, pointed out that although the construction of a BRT system on the route was not part of the original design of the Outer Ring Road project, however, the design considered and reserved its space at the median.
“It has been foreseen that the route will require BRT but available resources were inadequate,” said Mr Kinoti.
Mr Kinoti, at the same time, said that the dualling of Outer Ring Road is now 90 percent complete with the remaining works set to be finalized in the next two months.
He explained that only three footbridges were still under construction and that they will be opened for use by the public next month on November 10. Four other footbridges on the road are already in use.
“The construction of the New Wakulima Market, which is part of the project is 99 percent complete and only awaiting water and power connection. Apart from the fresh produce market, improvement of Kariobangi Market also benefited in the project,” he said.
The director general said that the Sh10.12 billion project awarded to SinoHydro Tianjin Engineering Company Limited (STECOL) to upgrade the road from a single carriageway to dual was meant to increase its capacity to handle traffic to and from Eastlands.
Nevertheless, the project that was commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta on January 22, 2015, has faced numerous challenges including relocation of services, land acquisition and encroachment. The road was officially opened to traffic on July 28, 2017.
“The President during the launch asked for its speedy realisation and we are glad it has come to fruition. Following the demolition of Taj Mall, the section has now been improved and is set for use in November 2019 making the road very efficient. This added to the improved junction at Ruaraka and traffic discipline will make the road achieve it maximum efficiency,” added Mr Kinoti.
The Kura DG noted that the project, developed with loans from African Development Bank and partly government resources, has continued to transform lives of thousands of Eastland residents employing nearly 2,000 workers in the last four years. More than 400 youths who used to hawk along the corridor were also trained to acquire life skills in various institutions.