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28km long highway to address Mombasa Road traffic jams on the way

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By MOHAMED AHMED
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Engineers have been deployed to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to assess the ground ahead of the planned construction of a bridge that will connect to Kangemi in Nairobi.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia yesterday said the engineers are also working to finalise the design of the bridge.

Speaking after presiding over the ground breaking of Moi International Airport in Mombasa, Mr Macharia said the “Express Highway” will be 28km long.

“Right now, we have engineers who are testing the soil at JKIA. It is no longer mere talks. We have done the bypasses around the city of Nairobi, we have done the Southern, Eastern and Northern bypasses and about a month ago we signed for Western bypass.

It critically important to make sure that people can go round the city of Nairobi without getting into the city,” said Mr Macharia.

He said congestion at the JKIA is one of the major problem that his ministry is seeking to deal with.

“You land at JKIA and it takes you another two hours to get to the city. It is important to facilitate easy travelfor the tourists coming to Nairobi especially for tourism conferences,” said Mr Macharia.

The project would also address the problem of passengers missing flights at JKIA, usually blamed on Mombasa Road traffic jams.

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The project is part of the government’s plan to reduce traffic jams in the city centre by completing a ring road and four link roads.

Ngong and Outer Ring roads are some of those which are to be improved while Lang’ata Road would be expanded.

The World Bank estimates that Nairobi traffic jams cost Sh50 million in lost productivity a day.

With the city population expected to double to seven million by 2030 and car ownership set to rise from a quarter of the households in 2014 to half by 2025, the need to address the gridlocks has not been more pressing.

Top in the plans is also a four-lane, 16.5-kilometre expressway connecting Gitaru and Ruaka.

The road, known as the Western Bypass, will connect the Southern Bypass in Gitaru and the Northern Bypass in Ruaka, completing the ring road.

Meanwhile, Mr Macharia said other airports including Malindi Airport, Isiolo Airport, and Suneka are among those being worked on.

“A vision is not complete until you have a hub and satellite airports dotted across the county. As a country, we shall continue to make these critical investments,” said Mr Macharia.

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