The completion of the multi-billion shilling Thika Road has been pushed to September, nine months past the initial deadline of December 2011.
Consulting Engineering firm APEC’s Managing Director Johnson Matu told Nairobi based Capital FM that land acquisition issues and heavy rains in the latter part of last year caused unexpected delays, missing both the December 2011 and March 2012 deadlines.
“We are having an issue with the removal and relocation of service lines, water pipes, power and some have not be relocated, so the contractor was unable to complete the works,” Mr Matu said.
The total cost of works on the 42km superhighway has so far exceeded Sh27 billion, with each of the three lots of the project being more than 90 per cent complete.
Lot 1, under supervision of China Wu Yi, stretches from Uhuru Highway to Muthaiga roundabout and involves improvement of University Way, Murang’a Road, Forest Road and Kariokor Road, provision of four lane flyover across Globe Roundabout, construction of underpass at Pangani, flyover on Muthaiga roundabout and provision of footpaths.
Lot 2, which is being undertaken by Synohydro, stretches between Muthaiga roundabout and Kenyatta University and involves expansion of the carriageway to eight lanes – (Muthaiga – Kasarani) and 6 lanes (Kasarani – KU), construction of underpasses at Kahawa and KU, provision of interchange at GSU roundabout, flyovers at Kasarani and Githurai roundabouts, underpass at former Nakumatt Thika Road, subway at Survey of Kenya and provision of footpaths.
Work on this lot is about 94 per cent complete.
Lot 3, the last portion of the highway to Thika, is also nearing completion. The project which is being undertaken by Sheng Li Engineering involves expansion of the carriageway to six lanes up to Juja, construction of six lane flyover at Eastern Bypass, underpass at Ruiru Sports Club and at Mang’u High School as well as provision of footpaths.
The contractor is currently building footbridges servicing pedestrians in the area.
The project, which began in April 2009, is part of an elaborate plan to de-congest city traffic and will involve changing the road from a four to eight-lane superhighway.