Chinese engineering group China Wu Yi has won a Sh16.4 billion contract to expand a 25km stretch of Waiyaki Way starting from the James Gichuru Road junction to the Mai Mahiu turnoff on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.
The planned upgrade is part of a World Bank-funded mega roads expansion project to decongest Nairobi that involves converting the 45.2km road between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Rironi into a superhighway.
In a bid to ease traffic to and from the airport and around the city, the roads between these two points will be converted into a superhighway replete with interchanges as well as service and bus lanes, among other features.
“The project is expected to ease traffic flow into and out of the city of Nairobi, and is one of the three major projects earmarked to decongest the city along the Northern Corridor alignment,” Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) Director General Peter Mundinia said in a statement Wednesday.
Mr Mundinia said major works that will be undertaken on the road section by the Chinese firm include widening each side of the 25km dual carriageway highway to 10.5 metres or three lanes.
It will also involve building 44km of service roads six metres wide and 3.4-metres-wide non-motorized transport lanes on either side of the entire length of the highway to enhance road users’ safety.
Additionally, approximately 16km of collector roads will be upgraded to paved standard, to provide connectivity to communities living adjacent to the project road.
At the same time, 13 bridges at interchange locations, 21 pedestrian overpasses and 5 underpasses will be built. Street lights will also be installed on the project road.
The key contractor of the Thika superhighway will also build the Garsen-Witu-Lamu road at a cost of Sh10.4 billion.
The project will be funded by the World Bank and the government under the National Urban Transport Improvement Project.
It will take three years to complete, once a resettlement plan for affected people is effected, KeNHA said.
The other components of the mega plan, which KeNHA says will be implemented in due course, are expanding the stretch from JKIA to the Likoni Road junction, and the section from the Likoni Road junction to James Gichuru Road.
Resettling the people affected by the project is planned for the next 12 weeks.
The mega plan to free up the city of traffic is divided into three sections from JKIA all the way to Rironi.
Section one will start from JKIA and go to the Likoni Road junction (the Southern Bypass interchange). Section two will then go from the Likoni Road junction to James Gichuru Road (near ABC place).
Section three will start from James Gichuru Road and end at Rironi.