The upgrade of long awaited Outer Ring road and existing intersections is underway as part of governments plan to de-congest the city.
It will involve construction of a dual carriageway poised to ease movement of people and goods to bring down the cost of living and transport.
It will start from Ruaraka/Thika Road Junction at the GSU headquarters to Taj Mall on the Eastern Bypass in Embakasi and it will involve daulling, service roads, 10 footbridges, six subways for pedestrian’s safety, Non-Motorized Traffic, six separated junctions and a Bus Rapid Transport Corridor to be built later. Other designs include street-lighting, drainage system, road furniture and markings.
Outer Ring road to be constructed by the Chinese SinoHydro Tianjin Engineering
The 13km dual carriageway(two lanes in each direction) will be constructed by SinoHydro Tianjin Engineering, a Chinese firm that partially built Thika Highway and supervised by Lee International, a Canadian Engineering firm and Lea Associates South East Asia. The project is estimated to cost Sh8.5 billion and will be financed by European Union and African Development Bank and the Government of Kenya and is expected to be completed by December 2017.
The expansion will also see deviation roads of about 12km being upgraded for use by the public and will include; Thika Superhighway-Mathare North-Juja road; Mtarakwa-Komarock Road; Embakasi Barracks- Kangundo Road and Eastern Bypass-Outer Ring Road.
Outer Ring road coverage
The road traverses through an intense development of industrial establishments from Allsops on Thika road to Kariobangi roundabout, Jogoo Road and Outering Junction up to Ngong River and after Tassia Estate and is also adjacent to the industrial suburbs of Baba Dogo, Kayole and the main Industrial Area. It will cover different zones in Nairobi North and Nairobi East District with an estimated 2,206,502 residents representing 70% of Nairobi County’s population which includes Mlango Kubwa, Kiamaiko, Huruma, Kariobangi, Dandora, Umoja, Donholm, Mukuru and Embakasi estates .
This is good news for residents and businessmen who continue to count losses due to traffic jams and wear and tear due to its current condition that has a deteriorated bitumen surface. The upgrade will also improve traffic movement linkages with major corridors such as Thika superhighway, the Eastern Bypass, Kangundo Road, Northern Bypass and Mombasa road. Most of the Mombasa port bound freight traffic from Thika Road(A2) uses this road to connect to Mombasa road(A109).
Once fully operational, the Outer Ring road will see significant Reduction in travel time between GSU roundabout and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport due to reduced traffic congestion which currently takes 2 to 3 hours to traverse the 13 Km road corridor. After the construction of the road, it will take 10 minutes to travel through the Outer Ring Road.
Other Nairobi roads that will be upgraded – Nairobi Eastern Missing Links
The Nairobi Eastern Missing Links comprise the construction of 17.1 kilometres of road by Reynolds Construction Company Ltd of Nigeria, and will cover Ngara (Accra to Ngara Road), Muratina Road (General Waruinge to Thika Road) Ring Road Parklands (Waiyaki way to Limuru Road and Limuru Road to Thika Superhighway and Quarry Road (Landhies – Park Road) and 12.4km of Non-motorised Transport (NMT). The project is expected to cost KES 4.58 billion and will be fully completed in 30 Months (December, 2016), covering 13 constituencies out of 17 in Nairobi City County.
Even though the upgrading of Outer Ring road will have several benefits, some of the traders along the road are unhappy since the construction will interfere with their businesses. However, the expansion of the Outer Ring road will come with much more benefits to motorists, and several businesses are expected to come up along and near the road.