Nairobi's Double Decker Road

The construction of Nairobi’s Sh50 billion first double-decker road linking Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to the Nairobi-Nakuru highway is set to start in September.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said China Road and Bridge Corporation will complete the project within two years. It is expected to reduce the traffic gridlocks along Mombasa Road.

Motorists will have the option of using the express way to escape the heavy traffic jams at a fee or toll charges to help the private firm building the road recover its investments.

But those using the lower section of the double-decker highway will be spared the toll charges.

“Road construction will commence in September 2019, and will take two years to complete,” said Mr Macharia.

The bus rapid transit (BRT) system is one of the special features of the planned highway, which will involve construction of a dedicated lane for large-capacity buses to ease congestion.

The project has delayed for nearly a decade. The first construction attempt collapsed when the World Bank questioned its suitability and cut financing.

Parliament in 2008 approved the construction of a 77-kilometre double-decker road in Nairobi under a 30-year build-operate-transfer deal that allows private firms to invest in a public project and operate it for an agreed period to recoup their investment and profit before handing it over to the State.

The World Bank, in a recent report, said Nairobi residents on average spend an hour to travel to work and another 60 minutes commuting back home due to traffic congestion on the city’s roads.

The proposed elevated dual carriageway is to be built in three phases beginning with the first 6.5 kilometres running from JKIA to Likoni Road and the Southern Bypass interchange.

The second stretch of 12 km will connect Likoni Road to James Gichuru Road junction on Waiyaki Way in Westlands, while the last section will run from James Gichuru Road to Rironi, on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

The road will come with multiple interchanges at intersections on Popo-Kapiti, Lang’ata-Lusaka, Bunyala, Rhapta and James Gichuru roads.