Nairobi-Thika Highway - Before And After

Some have seen their businesses flourish while others have been cut-out due to the designated exit points.

Thika Road. The highway has influenced economic and social aspects of residents living along it.

Thika Road. The highway has influenced economic and social aspects of residents living along it.

The Nairobi-Thika Highway was officially opened in November 2012 in a momentous occasion which took place at 2 locations along the highway. The Nairobi-Thika Highway cost KSh 32 billion, the most expensive highway in Kenya to date. The construction of this highway, which was contracted to 3 Chinese firms, touched many residents in one way or another. Motorists have had numerous incidents during the days of daily traffic diversions culminating in untold traffic jams. On the other hand, some residents have seen their businesses flourish while some have been cut-out due to the designated exit points.

The numerous junctions along the highway have been redesigned, making the old roundabouts obsolete. The Nairobi-Thika Highway had more than 6 roundabouts which were all replaced by interchanges and fly-overs. One notable landscape that changed is the Pangani roundabout which has now a functional tunnel, overpass and a network of lanes. The new highway has adequate lighting and drainage system despite the rampant "disappearing" of road furniture.

Here are some areas that were completely remodelled by the engineers pencil.

If you were heading to Limuru in 2010, chances were that you would find yourself stuck in the traffic jam that resulted at the junction of the above roads.

The Forest Road-Limuru Road Junction.

The Forest Road-Limuru Road Junction.

Unplanned and non-functional is what would describe the previous junction. Since then, a fly-over and neat lanes have been added to the junction.

The Forest Road-Limuru Road Interchange.

The Forest Road-Limuru Road Interchange.

Remember the Museum Hill roundabout? This was the last of such before traffic entered the city from Westlands. Traffic here was a headache even to the most experienced traffic policemen.

The Museum Hill Roundabout.

The Museum Hill Roundabout.

Much of it was removed and replaced with a circular fly-over and bidirectional lanes.

The Chiromo Fly-over.

The Chiromo Fly-over.

Before the contractor moved in, the traffic jam at the Allsops hill was unbearable. Vehicles would line up till Survey of Kenya. This was partly due to the GSU Roundabout that really was not functional.

Traffic at Ruaraka during construction.

Traffic at Ruaraka during construction.

The area has seen a fly-over that replaced the roundabout and an elaborate set of 8 lanes with parallel service lanes.

Spectacular lanes at Ruaraka.

Spectacular lanes at Ruaraka.

As a result of the rapid changes of the Nairobi-Thika Highway many drivers kept getting lost since the Kenyan motorist was not accustomed with exits and entrances. Accidents were on the rise and construction approached homestretch.

Should we compromise safety just because the roads are smooth? Keep your eyes on the road.

Which other memorable areas would you want to see before and after?