Construction of Outer Ring road nearing completion – PHOTOS
Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) has said that the ongoing construction of the Sh8 billion Outer Ring road is on track and is nearing completion with 83.1 per cent of the project already done.
Addressing the media on Friday after officially opening to traffic the carriageway from Ruaraka to Taj Mall along the Eastern Bypass interchange, Kura Acting Director General Engineer Silas Kinoti said that the dualling project was within the original timelines and would meet the deadline for its completion set for September.
“The project is on time and we promised we will open the road before the end of September and we have actually achieved that. Whatever is left will be completed within time. By the end of September the road will be ready but currently the two carriage ways are open and you can now drive from GSU all the way to Taj Mall,” said Engineer Kinoti.
Kinoti indicated that what was only remaining in the project that was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in January, 2015 was the completion of the interchange where Jogoo road meets Outer Ring road which is set to have 11 footbridges, service roads, grade separated intersections and Non-Motorized Traffic (walkways and cycle tracks).
“What is remaining now is the completion of the interchange where Jogoo road meets Outer Ring road. That is the work which is happening now,” he said.
The acting Kura boss further said that he expected the contractor, SinoHydro Tianjin Engineering Company limited, to finalize within six months the remaining works centered on landscaping, junction improvements and extensions, footbridges, installation of road furniture and construction of remaining sections of service roads.
He said that the road serves 60 per cent or over 2.6 million city dwellers and the opening of the road to traffic would improve accessibility to Eastlands area, reduce time travel for commuters, ease traffic and travel time from Ruaraka to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
He also said when complete, the road will save over Sh50 million that was being lost each day due to gridlock that has been experienced in the road for the past decade while also improving property value and business environment for formal and informal traders.
“It will also improve accessibility to Eastlands area, and reduce time travel for commuters. It used to take two hours to commute from Ruaraka to JKIA but this will now be reduced to under 20 minutes as the gridlocks have been eliminated,” he said.
He also said that they were doing a traffic management study along the road to see which other roads around the 13 kilometers stretch could be improved to enhance the functionality of the arterial and access road as a through way road.
“This would result in upgrading of other roads as access roads around Mathare and Huruma area,” he said.
He said that the project had faced numerous bottlenecks including relocation of services, land acquisition and encroachment along the corridor.
The engineer also said that they also intend to construct a wholesale and retail market along the road near Kangundo Junction targeting around 1, 000 businesses, a children traffic park and several health (wellness) centers at a cost of close to Sh1 billion.
“Included in the contract and yet to start is the construction of Sh868 million wholesale market to be situated along the corridor as well as other social amenities.
“The market is going to be a game changer for the traders around here. They will have a common place where they will do their business. The kiosks are coming back and that is what we are trying to avoid,” said the Kura boss.