Thika Superhighway to get more footbridges
An additional 10 footbridges will be constructed along Thika Superhighway to reduce the number of accidents.
Some of the areas identified by the Kenya National Management Authority (KeNHA) as hotspots and will get the new footbridges at a cost of Sh1.8 billion are Museum Hill, Desai road, GSU, Roasters, Weitethie and Juja toll station.
While acknowledging the need to increase safety on the highway which has been subject to vandalism, Engineer Njuguna Gatitu, the maintenance manager of KeNHA said the bumps erected in some sections were not providing a long lasting solution.
“Currently we have erected speed bumps to slow down traffic as a safety measure for non-motorized traffic, but they still don’t ensure complete safety for pedestrians,” he said.
“In addition, they are creating a clog up of traffic around the areas especially at Roasters and GSU during rush hour as several vehicles slow down at the same time,” he said.
“The designs for the bridges are already complete and we are awaiting release of the funds from the ministry in order to commence works,” he said.
Consequently, as a measure to reduce the maintenance costs of the Highway, KeNHA has said in the event of an accident, motorists will be charged for any damages caused on the fittings before their vehicles are released to them.
“We have so far been forced to replace 9 kilometres of guardrails in the last 8 months and this is causing the government a fortune,” he said.
In January last year, Intex SinoHydro Corporation was awarded a Sh1.1 billion contract to renovate and maintain the highway.
There have been complaints from motorists that the highway is yet to be restored to its former status and security lights are still not working on some sections.
However, the company’s Chief Engineer Guo Kun said 85 percent of the highway is now lit, including all footbridges.
“Restoration works on the security lights are complete and we have alerted the Kenya Power about the situation and the remaining 15 percent is subject to electric connection from the company,” he said.