Nairobi Bypass Project Overview



Way before the infrastructure boom of Kenya started, the government saw that many of Nairobi's roads were getting chocked with traffic due to poor road design. The greater volume of these vehicles were simply looking for a "shortcut " in or out of the city. This prompted for a road network that would link Nairobi from all corners in such a way that one would not necessarily have enter the city center. To solve this, the Nairobi Bypass Project was conceived.

Under the sole responsibility of the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) the project started off a slow start but managed to shake off the court cases against it and now its operational. A proposed Greater version of the entire project is in the making with the consultant on ground with the survey work.

The Nairobi Bypass Project is a Ksh.41.3Billion road project which will see the construction of 3 roads around the city to aid in the easing traffic snarl-up within Nairobi. These 3 roads include:

  1. Northern Bypass
  2. Southern Bypass
  3. Eastern Bypass

The entire length of the roads is 98km or paved road. All the roads will be single / double carriageway and will be able to accommodate 2 HCV (Heavy Commercial Vehicles) on opposite directions. Currently the Northern and Eastern Bypass are nearly complete with the Southern Bypass barely scratched the surface. This was because the then financier of the southern bypass, doubted the integrity of the contractor who was supposed to handle the project. Just recently the government signed a deal with the Chinese and the project is to commence in January 2011. The 3 roads shall form a ring around Nairobi and its environs with feeder roads, linking every part of Nairobi.

Over the years, the construction of the bypass project has not been smooth due to the fact that the project tore through crucial demographics and estates. All being handled by one contractor, the Northern Bypass has even faced lawsuits but the government has maintained a firm description in the path of the project. Full realization of the 3 bypasses will be felt once all of them are complete and this may be some 3 years to come. China Road and Bridge Co. (CRBC) has been awarded the contract and the works are impressive.

The bypass project has come into contact with the all to famous Thika Road at Ruiru. This is an advantage since both highways are crucial in the smooth traffic flow and accessibility. Thika has been opened to the greater Nairobi without having to enter the city center. Economic advantages of the merge are much obvious since time will be saved.




Total Length98km
ContractorChina Road & Bridge Co (CRBC)
Roads3No. Northern, Southern & Eastern Bypass
FinancierExim Bank (may vary)
Financing System(may vary)
Overall ResponsibilityKenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA)
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)NEMA - AWEMC
Commissioned + CommissionerPresident + (may vary)
Master PlanNairobi Road Network Master Plan
ClassUrban Road
DesignDual 2 Lane (may vary)
Design Speed80km/h with street lighting
Width of Carriageway2-2x3.5 (vary)
Maximum Gradient5% (vary)
Overall Completion Status-
Overall Operation Status-
Quality/UsabilityGood/Yes (Cautious Driving)
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