The Sh27 billion project, which kicked off in April 2009, is part of an elaborate plan to decongest city traffic and will involve changing the road from a four to eight-lane superhighway.
A brief by the Roads Ministry on the 50.4 km the project shows that the road will be divided into 3 sections, which are Muthaiga Roundabout – Uhuru Highway, Muthaiga Roundabout – Kenyatta University (KU) and KU – Thika.
On the Forest Road – Museum Road – Museum Hill roundabout section, construction works will involve widening of Forest Road to six lanes from four lanes, widening of Museum Hill road to six lanes, provision of forked fly-over on Limuru Road and provision of footpaths.
The Muthaiga roundabout-KU section has been designed as a high-speed highway with limited access and exits. The proposed improvements on this section include widening of carriageway to eight lanes- (Muthaiga – Kasarani) and 6 lanes (Kasarani – KU).
Other major improvements on this section include provision of service roads intermittently, 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 site, subway at Survey of Kenya and provision of footpaths.
The proposed improvements of the KU-Thika section include widening the carriageway to six lanes up to Juja and maintaining the existing provision of service roads, construction of six lane flyover at Eastern Bypass, intermittent service roads, underpass at Ruiru sports club and at Mang’u High School as well as provision of footpaths.
A 2006 traffic count revealed that Nairobi-Thika road carries 70,000 vehicles a day, the highest in the East African region.
Update Note: April 14, 2012 – The completion of Thika Superhighway has been pushed to September, nine months past the initial deadline of December 2011.