Nairobi Expressway to be expanded to curb traffic
The Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) and Moja Expressway Company have announced the construction of additional extra lanes on the Nairobi Expressway to accommodate growing traffic.
In a statement, on Wednesday, the two agencies said the upgrades will involve the addition of extra lanes at the Museum Hill exit and JKIA entrance and the construction of a new Haile Selassie toll station exit to facilitate the seamless flow of traffic into the CBD.
While calling for public participation Kenha said it will undertake enhancement and improvement works on the Expressway.
Centric Africa Limited has been appointed to prepare the environmental and social impact assessment for the upgrade works.
“Kenha plans to hold public consultations meeting in conformity to the provisions of the constitution of Kenya and Environment Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) Cap 387,” two agencies said.
The news will come as a relief to residents of Nairobi who will now have easy access to the Central Business District (CBD).
Last year, the then Infrastructure Principal Secretary, Paul Maringa, told the National Assembly that the expressway will be designed in a way that people from Westlands will now land at Nyayo House while those from the airport will now land at Haile Selassie Avenue or Green park bus terminus. The new design was to be completed within six months.
In March, Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja approved the construction of an exit for the Nairobi Expressway into the CBD at Uhuru Park. He also promised that the county government would fix the traffic menace usually experienced at the Westlands roundabout during peak hours.
Sakaja made the announcement after meeting with transport stakeholders including commuters, traders and matatu operators.
“We shall sort out the current disorganisation at the Westlands roundabout shortly. We have also approved the construction of an exit for the expressway into the CBD at Green/Uhuru Park,” Sakaja said then.
Last month, Road Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen was taken to task to explain how the Nairobi Expressway has eased traffic congestion in the CBD.
Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi asked the government to further provide the August House with a status report on the use of the Nairobi Expressway since its inauguration. He also wanted Murkomen to state when the Ministry intends to improve the main Mombasa Road.
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The Chinese-built Nairobi Expressway stretches from the western side of the city to the southeastern edge of the metropolis and reportedly records an average daily traffic volume of 50,000 vehicles.
The Sh87 billion, 27.1-kilometre road was financed and built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation under a public-private partnership model.
In February, Moja Expressway CEO Steve Zhao said the road, launched in July 2022, has seen the use of at least 10 million vehicles since it opened.
“As of February 7, 2023, the total number of vehicles that have used the Nairobi Expressway stands at 10 million,” Zhao said.
The Nairobi Expressway has 10 interchanges and includes the SGR terminus at JKIA, Eastern Bypass, Southern Bypass, and Enterprise Road.
It was launched by retired President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022, to reduce traffic congestion on Mombasa Road and improve mobility in the city.