Traffic nightmare on Southern Bypass as Kenha closes road for four days
On Thursday, hundreds of motorists and passengers were trapped in a massive traffic snarl-up along the Nairobi Southern Bypass.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) had earlier announced that a bypass section would be closed for four days.
Motorists had been warned to expect heavier than usual traffic as contractors will be carrying out maintenance works along that stretch.
The authority said in a statement that the section of the road will be closed until Sunday, June 18. The closure will affect the Kikuyu-bound carriageway from the virtual weighbridge to Gitaru Overpass.
According to Kenha, motorists would access the area every night from 6pm to 9am.
“Normal traffic will resume every night between 6pm and 9am. This allows highway maintenance works along the section. Motorists are therefore advised to approach the section with caution and to follow the traffic signs and guidance in place,” Kenha said.
Motorists have been advised to approach the section with caution. However, traffic marshals and police will be on-site to enable a smooth traffic flow.
Thursday’s gridlock started building up as early as 6am and stretched for several kilometers. The construction greatly affected and inconvenienced people who were forced to spend more time on the stretch.
The situation was made worse by motorists attempting to overlap as both sides of the road were jammed for hours.
The Sh17.1 billion, 28.6km dual carriageway with 12km slip roads and an extra 8.5km service roads was officially launched by President Mwai Kibaki in early 2012 and has seen its share of problems.
In June 2012, the project was met with fierce opposition from Friends of the Nairobi National Park, who said construction of the road through the Nairobi National Park would put other national parks at risk of development.
The lobby group successfully petitioned the National Environmental Tribunal to stop the government from commencing construction works on the areas in dispute. The issue was later resolved.
The Bypass was officially opened by former President Uhuru Kenyatta and the late Tanzanian President John Magufuli in 2016.