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Witeithie To Get Footbridge To Curb Pedestrian Deaths Along Superhighway.

In a move meant to curb rising pedestrian fatalities along the busy Thika Superhighway, the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) is currently preparing tender documents for four footbridges which will be tendered by June 2016.

Transport Secretary James Macharia confirmed this in Parliament last week saying that the footbridges will be situated at Ruaraka, Blue Springs Hotel, Witeithie and Mang’u Road.

Mr Macharia had appeared Thursday before the National Assembly Transport Committee following a petition by residents of Juja over increased pedestrian fatalities along the road. 

21 Juja residents wanted Parliament to compel the Ministry of Transport to build more footbridges along the highway in a bid to avert accidents. They claimed that majority of victims along the road were students from Kenyatta University (KU) and the Nairobi Institute of Business Studies (NIBS).

They requested that
footbridges be build at spots such as the Gwa Kairu Crossing near KU’s Ruiru campus, the Toll Station near Theta Club, the Juja Highpoint/Ndarugu crossing point, the Bob Harries/Nyacaba roads crossing and at Witeithie main stage.

The number of pedestrian fatalities caused by either human errors or careless driving have been on the rise since completion of the road in 2012.

There are 18 footbridges along the highway with 10 others designed but yet to be constructed due to budget constraints.

In February, the KeNHA announced plans to have 12 more footbridges build along the road to ease traffic snarl ups. Motorists have been forced to slow down to allow pedestrians to cross at several sections along the highway which still have bumps and rumble strips. 

The Transport ministry recently shelved plans to introduce toll stations on highways as had been planned by KeNHA after public uproar over the

Financial constraints have led KeNHA to consider floating an infrastructure bond through public-private partnerships (PPPs) and concessioning of targeted roads as a way of checking the mounting infrastructure costs.

The road development agency paid contractors Sh132 million in interest for delayed payments of completed works as at June 2013, leaving it in a negative working capital position. 

Mr Macharia said in an earlier interview that instead of introducing toll stations, the ministry was considering constructing double-decker roads on some of the highways. 

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