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‘Using Expressway before launch will land you in trouble’

The government has again warned members of the public to stop using the Nairobi Expressway before it is officially opened for public use.

In a second warning of its kind within 48 hours, the Expressway’s Head Office warned drivers off the highway, stating those caught will face trespassing charges.

“Please be advised that the Nairobi Expressway is NOT open for use by the public. Construction is still ongoing and for your safety, we strongly advise motorists not to drive along any accessible parts of the project,” read a notice.

“Anyone found driving within or accessing the Nairobi Expressway route before the official launch will be TRESPASSING and will therefore be reported to the authorities.”

The warning comes a day after the Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) said that the Sh88 billion expressway has not been opened to motorists for trials yet.

Some motorists shared video clips while driving on the 27-kilometre road that went viral on social media with some online users claiming that the road had already been opened for the trials ahead of its commissioning by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Others claimed that they had paid a fee to use the road.

“Small cars maximum is 360 per trip. The expressway is open Gentlemen! ! 7 minutes from Sameer industrial park to Westy Small cars. Least is around 120. Meaning 360 applies from mlolongo to James gichuru road express. About payment (sic),” a message circulating widely on WhatsApp said.

But Kenha has disputed the claims.

“As the contractor nears completion, and in preparation for the eventual opening of the road to the public, there will be guided trials to test the operations of the system that has been installed. Being a key road that is expected to decongest the city, the Authority shall inform the public in advance, but at an appropriate time on arrangements to open the road to the public,” the authority added.

Once the road is complete, motorists are expected to pay toll charges, depending on the size of the vehicle and the distance covered. The charges will be dollar-based to cushion the Chinese operator from exchange rate losses.

According to Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, motorists who opt to use it will need to purchase a special toll payment card.