Repair of damaged sections of Mombasa Road set to begin
The rehabilitation of sections of Mombasa Road damaged during the construction of the Nairobi Expressway is set to begin this month and take a year to complete, the government has said.
Transport, Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen on Friday said contractors have already been identified and are expected on site for the refurbishment works which will take a year.
Speaking when he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee, Murkomen said the public has raised serious concerns about the status and the quality of the road, adding that motorists have complained for a long time about the lower-deck roads.
“We are about to start the complete refurbishment of that road and in less than a month, the contractors will be on-site and we will restore the road to its required international standards,” Murkomen said.
Last month, the Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) Director-General, Mr Kungu Ndung’u, said the agency is awaiting finalization of the contracts before rehabilitation starts.
“There is need to enhance the facility that was existing before the Expressway. Therefore, Kenha as government is going to implement additional facilities including footbridges while also strengthening the old road. We expect contracts to be in place in about eight weeks,” Ndung’u said.
He added that they will construct three extra footbridges along the road.
In May last year, former Transport Secretary James Macharia said that the section from Mlolongo to Westlands will be rehabilitated to ensure that motorists who opt for the lower deck road are not negatively affected.
He said the government had contracted China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) to rehabilitate the highway, which was extensively damaged during construction of the upper deck at a tune of Sh9 billion.
“We are finalising a contract of Sh9 billion to make sure we beautify the old road. It makes sense to have the contractor who was doing the expressway rehabilitate the old road,” Mr Macharia told journalists at the time.
Construction of the 27.4-kilometre highway chipped away some lanes of the lower roads, leaving narrower paths that have been characterised by high-traffic gridlock.
The scope of refurbishing the old road involves fixing the drainage system, erecting a bus rapid transport system on the road and fixing pedestrian walkways. The design also provides for erecting a modern lighting system and re-carpeting of the old road.
“During construction, the old road was damaged as the contractor had to do piling. But the contractor, upon completion, will restore the old road and leave it better than they found it. Everything is done under one budget,” Mr Macharia said at the time.
Moja Expressway will operate the toll road for 27 years before handing it over to the Kenya National Highway Authority (Kenha).
Motorists pay between Sh120 and Sh1,800 to use the 27.1km road depending on the size of their vehicles and the distance they will cover.