The highway authority has finally come forward to address the issue behind the delay on additional footbridges on Thika road. The COVID 19 pandemic has been named as the core reason for the slow down of the project.
The project on the Witeithie, Njomoko, Garden City Mall, and the Kenya School of Monetary Studies footbridges has been active since 2017, consuming up to Ksh 822 million.
Initially, the project was to be completed by February 2018 but it never came to pass. The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has assured Kenyans that the project is on its final phase, to be completed by the end of this month.
KeNHA director-general Peter Mundinia added that part of the reason for the delay of the project was the long duration it took for materials to arrive from china. “It took us quite a while to ship the bridges from China because Covid-19 broke out when we were about to start. They arrived on May 7 (because of a huge pile-up of shipments in China). We should have everything complete in the next three weeks,” he said.
In contrast to the statement, the director had stated last year in July 2019 that the weld materials needed for the project were already being shipped into the country for installation by the end of August last year. The delay of construction materials led to KeNHA officials flying out of the country to China to inspect the materials before being shipped into the country
Shipping structures from China faced a lot of condemnation, pushing the agency to speak out on the matter. The Agency shielded their actions by saying that they were looking out for cheaper and faster solutions.
The construction of the Witeithie and Njomoko footbridges project was given to Interways Works Limited on September 4, 2017, and anticipated to complete the project by December 19, 2018. The whole project was budgeted to cost Sh430,327,157.
Further, Fourways Construction Limited was assigned to develop Garden City Mall, and Kenya School of Monetary Studies footbridges on November 8, 2017. This project was estimated to cost Sh 392,480,925 and be completed by February 2019. Reports from the company this year in February stated that they had already covered the deck at the Njomoko footbridge and were waiting for it to cure before declaring it ready for use by pedestrians by the end of March. The agency also added that the steel decks for bridges at Survey and Garden City would be installed in April and be opened in May. Interestingly, this too was a lie.