A day after the Nation ran a story about huge cracks on the newly-built Njoro turn-off interchange overpass on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway, the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has said it will seal them.
And in a statement, KeNHA sought to allay fears that the overpass could collapse, saying it had been assessed by engineers and found to be structurally safe.
"The bridge has been inspected by our engineers who visited the area and it was established there is very low likelihood of deterioration or expansion of the cracks. The bridge’s structure is safe for usage [by] vehicles of all load limits under the existing axle load limits in the country,” said KeNHA's Assistant Director for Corporate Communication Charles Njogu.
According to KeNHA, the bridge structure is firm and no vertical defects have been noted.
"A slurry seal will be applied on the cracks as an immediate intervention to prevent any possibility of further cracking on the tarmac surface and later we will install finger joints to seal the cracks. The cracks developed on both ends of the bridge due to expansion and contraction of the bridge beams, which is a normal occurrence in bridges and structures due to adverse temperature variations,” said KeNHA.
The authority sought to reassure the public and motorists that the overpass is safe, explaining that the expansion and contraction does not affect its main body.
The huge and visible cracks started developing on two sides of the overpass last week, sparking fears among motorists that the bridge might collapse.
The bridge is used by motorists from Eldoret heading to Njoro town and those from Njoro going to Nakuru town.
The interchange and two others built along the busy Nairobi-Nakuru-Eldoret highway were meant to ease perennial traffic snarl-ups.
The highway is part of the Northern Corridor and it is the most important road to western Kenya and the artery that connects Kenya and the landlocked countries of Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi.