The construction work of the Nairobi Western Bypass, the final link of Kenya’s capital city’s Ring Road Master Plan that includes the eastern, southern, and northern bypasses, is reportedly over 86% complete after approximately one and a half years since it began, and it is expected to be operational in September this year (2022). This was announced at the beginning of the year 2022
This was revealed by the Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA), the East African country’s autonomous road agency responsible for the management, development, rehabilitation, and maintenance of Class A, B, and C roads.
Built by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) with funding from the Kenyan government and the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank), the project consists of 15 kilometers dual carriageway, 18 kilometers of service roads, and footpaths in selected sections.
Benefits of the Nairobi Western Bypass
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The Nairobi Western Bypass will link the southern bypass at Gitaru town to the northern bypass at Ruaka and in so doing eliminate the need for motorists to drive into the capital city as they move between the two urban centers. According to KeNHA, it will also reduce travel time along the highway as the speed limits will increase from 50 kilometers per hour to 80 kilometers per hour upon completion.
The bypass will not only have an impact on traffic in the city, according to James Macharia, the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, and Urban Development, but also play a major role in reducing traffic congestion through the provision of a more modern alternative route between Nairobi and Kiambu county towns, as well as cut commute time for motorists moving from the Rift valley to the central region of Kenya.
Project timeline for the Western Bypass in Kenya
July 2021: Construction of Nairobi Western Bypass in Kenya to be complete by December
Construction works on the Nairobi Western Bypass project in Kenya is set to be completed by December this year, ahead of schedule. Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said 64% of roadworks on the bypass is complete and the remaining will be cleared in the next five months.
“We have conducted an inspection and we are happy with the progress. China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) the project’s contractor has affirmed the road will be done in the next five months, the road will be complete,” said Macharia.
The bypass starts in Gitaru through Wangige and Ndenderu and terminates at Ruaka. The US $155m project involves construction of a dual carriageway with a length of about 15.3km with additional 17.31km of service roads. Pedestrian barriers will also be installed in the center to prevent people from passing through unauthorized areas.
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The Nairobi Western Bypass project also include construction of seven grade interchanges at Gitaru, Lower Kabete, Wangige, Kihara, Ndenderu, Rumenye, and Ruaka, as well as the construction of ten overpasses and five underpasses.
Moreover, stormwater drainage systems and box culverts will be installed in designated areas. The project is a fixed sum contract with a defined scope. This means CRBC has limitations for additional works. The project is being funded partly by the China Exim Bank and the national government of Kenya and was initially set for completion in 2022.
Upon completion, it is expected to ease traffic congestion around Nairobi City, ensure rapid economic growth around the areas near the road, improve the safety of pedestrians and other non-motorized road users and ensure unimpeded traffic in the area.
“By constructing this road, we have a complete Nairobi circular and you can now go around Nairobi without passing through the city centre. Just like while coming from Mombasa Road, you can use Southern Bypass as you go around Nairobi. This will create seamless connectivity within the city,” said Macharia.
January 2021: Nairobi Western Bypass construction to be completed in 2022
The construction of the close to US$ 155m Nairobi Western Bypass, the fourth and final ring of the Nairobi Ring Road Network Master Plan, is expected to be completed by the end of next year according to Eric Yu, the project manager.
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Yu revealed that the project, which broke grounds on March 15th, last year but one, is currently 43.9 percent complete.
Nairobi Western Bypass
The Nairobi Western Bypass starts in Gitaru through Wangige and Ndenderu and terminates at Ruaka. The project works, which are being carried out by China Road and Bridge Corporation, includes the construction of a dual carriageway with a length of about 15.3 kilometers and approximately 17.31 kilometers of service roads. Pedestrian barriers will also be installed in the midst to ensure that no pedestrian crossings occur at the non-authorized areas.
The project also involves the construction of seven grade interchanges at Gitaru, Lower Kabete, Wangige, Kihara, Ndenderu, Rumenye, and Ruaka, as well as the construction of ten overpasses and five underpasses.
Box culverts and stormwater drainage systems will also be installed in designated areas. The project is a fixed sum contract with a defined scope, meaning that the contract has limitations for additional works.
It is being funded partly by the China Exim Bank and the national government of Kenya.
Benefits of the project
Upon completion, the project is expected to ease traffic congestion around Nairobi City, ensure rapid economic growth around the areas near the road, Improve safety for pedestrians and other non-motorized road users and ensure a smooth flow of traffic in the area.
Moreover, there will be the construction of a bus park at Wangige which will also enhance public transport efficiency and ensure that traffic congestion and interruptions occasioned by public transport vehicles are reduced. Provision of adequate bus bays at all the major existing commercial centers and settlement areas will be provided.
April 2019: The bypass project is set to kick off in Gitaru, Kiambu county
Kenya National Highways Authority (KenHa) and the Ministry of transport has announced that construction of US $168m Western Bypass has begun with the project being the fourth and final ring of the Nairobi Ring Roads.
The bypass project is set to kick off in Gitaru, Kiambu county connecting the Southern bypass in Kikuyu town and will terminate in Ruaka connecting the Northern bypass. It will will have a four lane expressway with a total length of 16.79Km and seven interchanges at Lower Kabete, Gitaru, Ndenderu, Ruaka, Wanginge, Rumingi and Kihara.
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According to Transport Cabinet Secretary Mr James Wainaina Macharia, the project will also have noise control barriers in all human settlement areas. The Western Bypass will have eleven traffic bridges and pedestrian underpasses on the entire length. Pedestrian barriers will also be installed in the midst to ensure that no pedestrian crossings occur at the non-authorized areas, apart from the provided for facilities such as footpaths and underpasses.
The separate footpaths and cycle tracks will provide an enhanced safety feature to ensure no direct conflict between motorized traffic and road users. Additionally it will have paved deviations along the construction route to ensure smooth traffic flow and reduce environmental hazards.
China Road and Bridge corporation were tasked to undertake the project and to complete in a period of 39 months. Upon completion the project is expected to ease traffic congestion around Nairobi City, ensure rapid economic growth around the areas near the road, Improve safety for pedestrians and other non-motorized road users and ensure a smooth flow of traffic in the area.
Moreover there will be construction of a bus park at Wangige which will also enhance public transport efficiency and ensure that traffic congestion and interruptions occasioned by public transport vehicles is reduced. Provision of adequate bus bays at all the major existing commercial centres and settlement areas will be provided.
June 2016: Construction of US$169 million Western Bypass in Kenya starts
Construction of proposed Western Bypass in Kenya that is aimed at reducing traffic congestion in the Capital. This is one of the several plans line up by the government of Kenya to reduce traffic congestion in Nairobi that has become a chronic problem.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha), a government body mandated to construct and manage highways in the country, said recently that it has signed an agreement with the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) to conduct feasibility studies and designs for the construction of the bypass as a high capacity expressway, clearing the way for its construction.
“The Nairobi Western Bypass project will be implemented as an Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contract (EPC). The total EPC cost estimate is Sh17.3 billion and will be funded through a concessionary loan from the Government of China,” said State roads agency in a statement.
The proposed Nairobi Western Bypass has been earmarked as a link that is crucial in completing a system of ring roads around Nairobi City to divert traffic away from the Nairobi Central Business District.
Two other Bypasses; the Eastern and Northern Bypasses in Nairobi, are complete with a third – the Nairobi Southern Bypass – nearing its completion.
The Nairobi Western Bypass is designed as a four lane Highway measuring 16.5km with a design speed of 100 km/hour. The bypass will connect with the Nairobi Southern Bypass at Gitaru, and the Northern Bypass at Ruaka.
The project will involve construction of overpasses and interchanges at major junctions at Kihara,Wangige, Ndenderu and Ruaka.
The Nairobi County Government has been battling with the chronic problem of traffic congestion in the city which many experts blame on the poor planning of the city. These measure include reducing on the number of roundabout in and around the CBD as well as construction outskirt roads to divert traffic from the CBD