PHOTO / THE STAR

The expansion of the 25km James Gichuru-Rironi road stretch on Waiyaki Way into a superhighway has started.

Chinese firm Wu Yi has been contracted by the roads authority to upgrade the road and has started uprooting trees to pave way for the expansion.

Yesterday, Wu Yi workers were in Kangemi, uprooting trees between the two lanes and levelling the ground.

“We have three years to complete this work and we are going to make sure we stick to the timeline,” a Chinese engineer told the Star.

Wu Yi won the Sh16.4 billion tender in July to expand the stretch to a sixlane highway within 36 months. The stretch starts from the James Gichuru Road junction to the Mai Mahiu turnoff on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

Kenha director general Peter Mundia said the project will be funded by the World Bank and the government under the National Urban Transport Improvement Project.

“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,” he said.

Major works that will be done on the project will include construction of 44km of six-metre wide service roads, as well as the construction of 3.4m wide non-motorised transport lanes on either side of the entire highway to ensure road users’ safety.

“A new storm drainage system will also be built to drain excess rain and ground water from the road and sidewalks,” Mundia said.

He said the highway will have 13 bridges at interchange locations, 21 pedestrian overpasses and five underpasses.

The upgrade is part of a World Bank-funded mega roads expansion project to decongest Nairobi that involves conversion of the 45.2km road between the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Rironi into a superhighway.

“The other components, which will be implemented in due course, are capacity enhancement and reconstruction of the JKIA to Likoni Road junction and capacity enhancement and reconstruction of the Likoni Road junction to the James Gichuru Road junction,” Mundia said.

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