Inside Ksh5.3B Plan to Decongest Mombasa Road

  • The Athi River - Machakos Dual Carriageway pictured in February 18, 2021.
    The Athi River - Machakos Dual Carriageway pictured in February 18, 2021.
    Twitter
    Nzioka Waita
  • The Nairobi-Mombasa highway is already undergoing infrastructural improvements with construction works in progress to facilitate the smooth movement of vehicles along the busy highway. 

    A section of the major highway between Athi River and the Machakos turn-off is being converted to a dual carriageway at a cost of Ksh5.3 Billion.  

    The expansion of the 20 kilometre stretch, which is notorious for heavy traffic snarl-ups, is at an advanced stage with 50 percent of the civil works done, but behind schedule as it was to be completed in December 2018.

    The construction of an underpass along Mombasa Road in February 2021.
    The construction of an underpass along Mombasa Road in February 2021.

    To ease the traffic congestion along the section, engineers have designed and are constructing two underpasses to remove any bottlenecks that are usually a significant cause of traffic jams.  

    According to the design plans, one underpass will be located at the Athi River Junction and the other at the Green Park Estate. An overpass is also set to be built at the Daystar University Junction.

    The plans were made clear during a visit to the site by senior government officials who stated that the new design would make the turn-offs safer in an area that is a notorious blackspot.

    State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita noted that the construction of the dual carriageway had faced delays at the Athi River junction due to land compensation issues. 

    "These are some of the challenges negatively impacting public infrastructure projects. The cost of compensation is almost equal to the cost of the road," Nzioka said, particularly pointing out to the delays in finalising the construction of the underpass at the Athi River junction.

    The dual carriage is also expected to play a key role in the Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway masterplan.

    Though the construction of the  473-kilometre road has stalled, the Ksh300 billion road project was designed to achieve consistent high speeds of upwards of 100km per hour, reducing the journey between Mombasa and Nairobi to about four hours.

    It would, however, be one of the costliest infrastructure projects, designed to have four lanes and 19 interchanges. It is also expected to become a toll road. 

    The expressway is also expected to serve Konza City with the construction of the Ewaso Kedong -Kona Baridi -Isinya – Konza section currently listed under the 'planned projects' on the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) website, but with no specific timelines regarding commencement or completion of the road.

    Ongoing construction work at Konza Technopolis
    Ongoing construction work at Konza Technopolis
    Twitter