The government has officially taken over the maintenance of the Eastern bypass, after the defects liability period ended early this week.
The Kenya Urban Roads Authority will now be in-charge of both routine and periodic maintenance of the section between Embakasi Garison and Road (C63) Kiambu-Ruiru Road. The Chinese contractor, China Road and Bridge Corporation, who has won admiration from the locals, handed over the section to the authority, after fulfilling all the contractual obligations and an inspection of works.
The handing over of completed road projects back to the government is a rare occurrence among local contractors, who are notorious for leaving projects mid-way. Among the road projects lying uncompleted around the city are Enterprise Road, Landhies Road, Kipande Road and Likoni Road. The Eastern by-pass section is 26kms with a fully marked road of thermo plastic paint, three major box culverts at Nairobi River, Gatharaini River, Kamiti River, two over-passes at Kangundo Road and Ruiru railway over-pass with guard rails installed at specific locations.
The Assistant Team leader Eng. Wilfred Oginga, said section of the road has been open to the public since March 2011 and has become a popular link for motorists plying Thika, Kiambu and Ruaka routes from Mombasa Road, as they avoid traffic congestion on Uhuru Highway. "The traffic volume has increased tremendously both in the Eastern and the Northern part near Ruiru. The road has opened eastern part of the city linking it to Thika and has diverted traffic from Outer Ring Road," he said.
He said the major beneficiaries when the City Cabanas interchange is finalised, will be motorists from Embakasi, Kangundo and Ruai. Goods destined for JKIA from counties in Central and Rift Valley region, can now reach the airport using the by-pass. Eng. Odinga said, it now takes less than an hour from JKIA to United Nations offices in Nairobi, using the Northern and Eastern by-pass, which is a great improvement as opposed to Mombasa Road-Uhuru Highway-Forest Road and the Limuru Road route.
The Eastern by-pass stretches from Mombasa Road at City Cabanas, through Kangundo Road and joins the Northern by-pass at Ruiru, The remaining section (City Cabanas interchange) is expected to be complete in coming months.