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Construction to begin on Nairobi Expressway


Construction will start next month on the Nairobi Expressway with the hope of addressing the daily traffic jam on Mombasa Road. The development is "part of a new, unique national developmental approach which demonstrates how strategic Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model can lead to great outcomes for the people, the economy and the environment," according to Patrick Mwaura, an infrastructure communications specialist.


Nairobi is the most densely populated city in Kenya, with more than 4.3 million inhabitants. As population density increases and the number of vehicles on the roads rise (by more than 60% between 2012 and 2018), congestion in the city is reaching a point where commuters can easily spend three hours travelling from side of the city to another. A major contributing factor to the congestion is the fact that to get from one side of Nairobi to the other - all traffic needs to go through the central business district.


For many years, discussions have centred around how to alleviate the traffic and provide quicker access to the other side of Nairobi.


The Mombasa road in particular is often a main congestion point, leading to frustration and traffic backed up for long periods on the roads.


Now, however, the partnership with the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) may provide some relief to frustrated motorists.


Construction is due to start on a 27.1km expressway project which will run from Mlolongo off Mombasa Road to James Gichuru Road in Nairobi’s Lavington area. The project, due for completely in December 2022, will be financed through a Public Private Partnership agreement.


It is hoped the new road will reduce travel time and opportunity costs by ensuring the free flow of traffic from East to West Nairobi.


In addition, the motorway will have a bus rapid transit system as a feature of the road, with a dedicated lane for buses which can carry additional people. The idea is to provide reliable public transport and reduce the number of vehicles on the road.