The Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) has embarked on a plan to beef up its surveillance system to reduce overloading and vandalism along the main highways and reign in on escalating maintenance costs.
The new strategy will see teams strategically located along the highways to ensure compliance to the set axle load limits.
Kenha said that the move is meant to rein in on vandalism and trucks that manage to evade weighbridges and end up damaging roads especially the international trunk roads.
“Adopting this new approach from maintenance to road asset management is driven by both growing recognition of the importance of the corridors and by the increased focus on performance management of the road networks,” said Kenha director general Peter Mundinia.
The authority said it had come under pressure from the East African community members’ states to cut the number of weighbridges and enhance the flow of goods across the region.
This therefore meant that the number of weighbridges had to be reduced forcing them to look for other ways of protecting roads from overloading.
Kenya had also proposed stricter load axle limit rules but they were opposed by the EAC members.
The agency said it spends over Sh5 billion annually on road repairs.
“The Authority will integrate CCTV surveillance systems and create job opportunities by employing people along the corridors as road inspectors to curb vandalism of the road assets,” said Mr Mundinia.
Under the plan, Kenha will monitor the main highways in three teams. The first corridor will comprise Mombasa to Athi River, Emali to Loitoktok, Namanga to Rironi and the Nairobi Southern Bypass totalling 775 kilometers.
The second corridor will comprise Rironi to Malaba, Rironi to Kisii and Mau Summit and Kisumu to Busia totaling 838 kilometers. Corridor three on the other hand will comprise Nairobi to Moyale and Thika to Liboi totaling 1,337 kilometers.