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New Outer Ring Road link to open next month

Wednesday November 20 2019

Outer Ring Road

Cows lie down on Outer Ring Road. The Kenya Urban Roads Authority says the interchange linking Outer Ring Road and Thika Road will open to traffic from mid next month. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

EDWIN OKOTH
By EDWIN OKOTH
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The newly constructed interchange linking Outer Ring Road and Thika Road will open next month.

The Kenya Urban Roads Authority, which began the works earlier in the year, says the interchange will open to traffic from mid next month to create a seamless link between the two major highways and ease traffic snarl-ups.

Lack of the interchange had become a nightmare for Outer Ring Road, which was expected to be a game changer for the city’s traffic experience for motorists east of Nairobi.

Kura communication manager John Cheboi said the agency was also completing two footbridges and associated infrastructure for the multibillion-shilling highway.

“It’s almost done, just a small section is left and we should open it for use mid next month. There have been a few challenges setting up the last two footbridges as some residents feel it will encroach on their privacy when it is elevated near their fences,” Mr Cheboi said.

Chinese contractor Stecol Corporation (previously named Sinohydro Tianjin Engineering Co., Ltd.) will leave the site early next month while Kura will continue to tie the loose ends.

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The link from North Airport Road, where Taj Mall stood, has also been completed to help motorists joining the highway from the airport.

KENHA ON THE SPOT

The Thika Road interchange was a design afterthought that came out more than a year after the route was opened for use, drawing criticism over implementation of the project.

The poorly executed junction between the two highways caused traffic snarl-ups, spilling further along the road, worsened by several stops for pedestrian crossings and public service vehicles picking up passengers between Pipeline Estate and Kariobangi.

The completion of the link now puts the Kenya National Highways Authority on the spot for taking more than two years to build footbridges said to have been welded in China but are yet to be installed.

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