Japanese builder races to complete Ngong Road expansion project

Ongoing works on Ngong Road in Nairobi.
Ongoing works on Ngong Road in Nairobi. PHOTO/COURTESY
A project aimed to expand Nairobi’s Ngong Road into a dual carriageway is well underway, with the Japanese contractor racing against time to complete construction works by December.

Phase one of the Ngong Road dualling project, which was initially set for completion in July, has been delayed by five months owing to challenges of shifting water and power lines.

The Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura), the agency overseeing construction, says delays in relocating data cables, power and water lines have made it impossible for the contractor to complete the project as scheduled.

“We expect to complete it by December, including road markings and signalisation,” the agency’s acting general manager in charge of Planning Daniel Muchiri said in a statement.

World Kaihatsu Kogyo Ltd., a Japanese firm, is undertaking works on the first phase of the project – spanning 2.7km between the Kenya National Library and the Prestige Plaza. The project, which was launched in August last year, will be completed at a cost of Sh1.4 billion.

According to Kura, the dualling of Ngong Road will provide a median to be developed later for Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) or light railway.

“It will also include the installation of street lights, intelligent Traffic signals and walkways for pedestrians,” Kura said in a past press briefing.

A BRT is a transit system designed to allow buses to run for a significant part of their trip within a fully dedicated “right of way” to avoid traffic jam. The system is found in big cities around the world, especially in Europe.

The Ngong Road expansion project is funded through a grant by the Japanese government under its Economic Co-operation Programme Project and is being supervised by Tokyo based Katahira and Engineers International.

Phase two of the project, meant to start next month, will cover the stretch between Prestige Plaza and Dagoretti Corner. Expansion of this section of the road will also be financed by Japan.

Japanese firms are increasingly bidding for infrastructure projects in the Kenya, stepping up competition against Chinese firms which have previously gobbled the bulk of the country’s big dollar projects.

One Response to "Japanese builder races to complete Ngong Road expansion project"

  1. Michael Maynard · Edit

    To JICA and the Powers that be in Kenya: Please consider switching the phase 2 and 3 of the Ngong Road project. The stress and congestion of Dagoreti Corner to Karen Roundabout (even just to Karen-Southern Bypass) is not even comparable to the Prestige-Dagoreti Corner stretch. If switched, even once the Dagoreti-Karen stretch is ^completed^, the new burden on Prestige-Dagoreti in unlikely to reach the ^current^ burden on the Dagoreti-Karen stretch. Kindly pass this to the relevant people and entities. Thank you!

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