The Nairobi Expressway. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]
A parliamentary committee has told motorists and pedestrians that the contractor building Nairobi Expressway will restore old Mombasa Road’s three lanes.
National Assembly Transport Committee chairman David Pkosing said after the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) completes construction of the 27km Nairobi Expressway, old Mombasa Road will be rehabilitated.
“The lower road will revert to its three lanes. There will also be proper lighting and footpaths for pedestrians,” Mr Pkosing said, adding that the changes will eventually reduce traffic jams on the road. The dual carriage expressway links Mlolongo town, through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), along Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway to Westlands through Waiyaki Way.
The Pokot South MP said the government has set aside Sh9 billion for rehabilitation.
The expressway is the first road to be built under the public-private partnership (PPP) model. Kenyans will pay for the road for 27 years through toll stations.
Mr Pkosing said Kenyans lose Sh50 million every day in traffic on Mombasa Road from its outskirts to town and to Kinoo. “We lose Sh18 billion per year. This is what the expressway will cure in the immediate future.
This is money the Kenyan motorist will save both from fuel used in traffic jams and the man-hours lost,” he said.
The lawmaker said once the expressway and the lower roads are completed, commuters will spend 15 minutes covering a distance that previously took two to three hours.
“Most of the people residing in Kitengela, Athi River, Mlolongo and other estates along Mombasa Road have for the years been forced to wake up earlier than normal because they always anticipate traffic jams.”
On Saturday last week, the government opened the expressway to the public for a trial phase ahead of its unveiling next week by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The transport committee chair said moving forward, they will push the government to adopt the PPP model in building infrastructure rather than waiting for cash or borrowing.
Upon completion of the road, the Sh86 billion expressway will be run by the Chinese firm until the payment of the loan is completed.
Last week, motorists along Waiyaki Way were caught in an early morning melee after matatu operators went on strike to protest lack of spaces to pick and drop passengers.
They accused the government of knocking off all the bus stops along the stretch to pave way for the Nairobi Expressway without giving alternatives.
Old Mombasa Road