Government to rebuild 17 flood-damaged footbridges in Nairobi with Sh500m

The government has allocated Sh500 million for construction of 17 footbridges in Nairobi after the floods that devastated the city swept away or destroyed most of them.

Justus Onyikwa, a deputy director at the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), said the agency has prioritized Nairobi for rehabilitation. 

However, they are committed to addressing roadwork, particularly in areas where they were washed out, ensuring prompt attention and maintenance.

“The estimated cost of completing the work on the 17 footbridges is around Sh500 million. Currently, their concentration is solely on Nairobi, before rolling out repair across the country. We will attend to all roads even as we try to secure extra funds to cover all the affected areas,” Mr Onyikwa told Sunday Nation. 

He estimated the damage to bridges as exceeding 80 percent. 

Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen this week said the government needs between Sh25 billion and Sh30 billion to restore critical infrastructure destroyed by floods.

“We are heavily impacted by the floods and have lost infrastructure, especially roads and bridges. From our assessment, we estimate that between Sh25 billion and Sh30 billion is needed for restoration,” said Murkomen.

The CS was speaking while assessing the state of the Gamba section of the Lamu-Witu-Garsen road that was swept away by floods on May, 15, 2024.

“We need a lot of money to rehabilitate our roads and bridges,” he stressed adding that “an assessment of the damage is almost complete. We will talk to Parliament to set aside the necessary resources.”

According to Mr Onyikwa, they will prioritise Mathare, Kamukunji, Kibra, Embakasi South, Kabete, Langata, and Westlands constituencies. These areas have been identified as high-priority due to their large populations and the urgent need for safe crossing points over oft-dangerous rivers. 

“We are concentrating on the densely populated regions. This includes the Jerusalem neighbourhood along the Nairobi River, which is heavily populated. Other key areas also require improved access to services considering majority of those affected are school children and commuters. The original bridges in these locations were washed away, so we are rebuilding them from the ground up,” he said.

Mr Onyikwa further said that they are reconstructing bridges spanning around 50 meters, aiming to enhance their clearance and bring them up to standard.

“Initially, these bridges were [a basic] two rows, serving as small crossings at designated places. Now, we are improving and increasing their clearance while ensuring they meet required standards. Since the floods compromised the integrity of the bridges’ supports, we are building new bridges in some areas and elimination others, which were already in a state of disrepair,” he said.

Footbridges being reconstructed are, Gitathuru-Wanjiru Footbridge, Mandera-Koria Footbridge, Lungalunga-Viwandani Footbridge, and Mosque Road Footbridge, Ngumba Bridge, Huruma (Ghetto area) Footbridge, and Madoya Bridge, which are vital connections within their respective communities. 

Others ate the Gitathuru-Utalii Hotel Footbridge, Kisii Footbridge, and Kiambiu-Uhuru Bridge, Ruthimitu-Uthiru Bridge, Nyando Bridge, Sarang’ombe Footbridge, Sarang’ombe Motorable Bridge and of course, the Mumwe Road Box Culvert. 

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