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Kenha temporarily shuts cracked Maai Mahiu-Narok Highway

The Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) on April 30, 2023, temporarily closed the Maai Mahiu-Narok road because of dangerous cracks.

According to a statement by the authority, the closure was caused by the discovery of a severe crack six kilometres from Mai Mahiu town.

The crack, according to Kenha, cuts across the road, making it dangerous for motorists to use.

“We have decided to close the road because of the cracks that run across the road,” said the authority.

“This closure has been occasioned by a severe crack that has occurred six kilometres from Mai Mahiu Town towards Mai Mahiu, cutting across the road and thus rendering the road unsafe to motorists.”.

Kenha said the cause of the crack has not been established, though preliminary reports attribute it to the ongoing rains.

“As Kenha embarks on restoration works at the affected area, all road users plying the Mai Mahiu – Narok route are advised to use alternative routes,” the authority advised.

Motorists heading to and from the western parts of the country will have to use alternative routes, such as the main Nairobi-Naivasha highway.

The alternative routes include; Narok – Kisiriri – Mau Summit – Njoro turn off (B18) Road, to join Nakuru and other destinations or Narok – Bomet – Kaplong (B6) Road and connect to Kaplong – Kericho (B7) Road.

“The Authority is working round the clock to restore the damaged section of the road,” it added.

The authority is not certain when the road will be reopened.

This is not the first time the road had to be closed due to suspected earth movements.

In 2018, a large crack, stretching several kilometres developed on the Narok – Mai Mahiu road, which geologists claimed was a result of a slow separation of the Somali plate from the rest of Africa.

Earlier, a section of the road which was inaugurated bt the late President Mwai Kibaki inaugurated the in 2011 and links Nairobi to the famous Maasai Mara Park, as well as to western Kenya was washed away by floods near Suswa market.

The highway authority issued a notice urging motorists on the route to be extra cautious as they approached the area.

Heavy trucks weighing more than 10 tonnes were directed to use the Maai Mahiu-Naivasha route, which has now been closed.

The closure of the highway is likely to affect tourists travelling to the Maasai Mara and also motorists travelling to Narok and western Kenya.

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