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Witeithie, Ngoingwa Residents Welcome Proposal to Add More Footbridges Along Thika Superhighway

Witeithie and Ngoingwa residents have welcomed the government's pronouncement that it plans to erect about 12 more footbridges to be added to the current 18 and along Thika highway to reduce accidents. They said that cases of accidents being reported on this part the road were on the rise especially at night and early mornings.

They said that the number of accidents could be reduced if the government constructed footbridges for pedestrians.

Late last month, Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi appealed to KeNHA to construct a footbridge at Witeithie trading Centre in a bid to ensure residents and traders crossed the road safely. He also urged the government to sensitise the public on existing road regulations.

Other sections that need footbridges include The Gatitu Junction, Metrofil Petro Station, The Garissa-General Kago Roads Junction, Engen Petrol Station and near Polysack Limited, all along the Thika_Garissa Highway. These are all blackspots that have seen so many people lose lives through accidents involving pedestrians crossing the road. The B.A.T. intersection has seen one being erected but it seems that the construction works stalled along the way.

Accidents along the highway have increased with most deaths being blamed on careless driving. The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) intends to fund the erection of footbridges and putting up of streetlights through the introduction of tolling services. KeNHA Maintenance Manager Njuguna Gatitu said the Government has procured the services of a transaction adviser to carry out a feasibility study on tolling services along the road. He added the service would be carried out under the public-private partnership. 

“This is in a bid to reduce road accidents drastically along the highway where the cases of motorists’ death have gone up due to unscrupulous driving,” he said.

Several sections along the highway still have bumps and rumble strips meant to slow down traffic to allow for pedestrians to cross. Some of the crossing spots that are yet to get footbridges, such as near Survey of Kenya, have become notorious for snarl-ups during morning and evening rush hours. The spots proposed for footbridges include the Mang’u exit, Toll Plaza Highrise, Kenya Clayworks, Premier Academy and Blue Springs.

The highway is under a performance based maintenance contract awarded to Intex Synohydro for two years. The contract involves routine and emergency maintenance, and user and operation services which mainly include enhancing the comfort, convenience, and safety of road users. This has seen regular route patrols, ambulance, breakdown, and other emergency services used in safeguarding motorists using the highway. The company, whose contract will conclude at the end of this year, has had a cleaning truck do rounds and reinstated pedestrian guardrails along the highway.

Last year, Gatitu called on traders, particularly around Ngara, Githurai and Weitethie to stop encroaching on the highway to enable the smooth flow of traffic. 

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