Sections of the Sh17.2 billion Southern Bypass will be opened to motorists starting July this year, in what could greatly reduce traffic congestion within the city.
A statement issued by a publicist for the project said the section between Kibera and Dagoretti Road will be opened to traffic by July, and that between Dagoretti and Kikuyu by the end of the year.
“The new dual carriageway, whose aim is to free the city’s main thoroughfare, Uhuru Highway, of transit traffic, is halfway done,” read the statement.
Once the bypass is completed, it is hoped that vehicles headed for destinations other than Nairobi, particularly trailers, will use it and forego the city centre.
It will also offer city motorists a wider range of options to reach their destinations.
Even though the Kenya NAtional Highways Authority says the project is going according to plan, the slow pace of land acquisition from the Nairobi National Park and Kenya Forest Service around Ngong could delay its completion.
The bypass is meant to be commissioned in June next year.
“This state of affairs is largely as a result of the absence of the necessary legal framework, and it threatens prospects of the project being completed on time,” the Authority reports.
“The acquisition of land from the national park has been stopped through a court injunction. There is the possibility that the project could fail to meet its targets if the issue is not resolved by July this year.”
It has also further constrained the working space available to the contractor. “We are on schedule. We are on course to deliver within the targeted timelines. As soon as the pending issues are resolved by the authorities, we shall be in a position to execute some of the remaining phases of the project,” said Project Leader Shu Yilli.
The statement followed a tour of the project by Infrastructure PS Eng John Mosonik, Kenya National Highways Authority’s Eng Meshack Kidenda, Kenya Rural Roads Authority’s Eng Mwangi Maingi and Eng Joseph Nkadayo of the Kenya Urban Roads Authority.
The Southern Bypass is a proposed dual carriageway, a Class A international trunk road which is approximately 28.6km long, with a 12km slip road and 16.5km service road.
The main road starts from the junction of Mombasa Road and links with the Kabete/Limuru Road at Kikuyu town.
It crosses the National Park westward then goes through Lang’ata and Ngong Roads, Motoine River, Dagoretti and Thogoto Roads, then passes over Ondiri River, and the railway line towards Kikuyu town.
Awarded in November 2010, the project, which is being implemented by China Road and Bridge Corporation for Kenha, commenced on July 2, 2012.
Currently, about 50 Chinese engineers and 1,500 local employees, including engineers, surveyors, operators, are on site, working on the project. Key works include the construction of a 28.6km long dual carriageway, seven metres wide, separated by a four-metre median lane.
The project will also see the construction of three full interchanges at the bypass’ intersection with Mombasa, Lang’ata and Ngong roads and fly-overs at Community, Dagoretti and Thogoto.