Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Mbagathi (No) Way

Construction of the new all-cement Mbagathi Way road is proceeding at a strange start-stop pace. Some weeks, the contractor works as fast as possible, puts down a kilometre of cement, other days there’s no work or with just a few pieces of stone moved around – and it now appears the company is reluctant to complete the road or will take as long as possible.

The road is now dangerous, especially at night, and accidents are more frequent – as some days the road is one-way, others its two-way traffic, with new routes being opened up by matatu’s as they escape the traffic jam which can stretch from Langata road to Ngong road.


Anonymous said...

Is the contractor being paid?
Or do they only work AFTER being paid?
Is there a cement shortage?

Ntwiga said...

Cement shortage?

69/\/\ said...
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69/\/\ said...

I glanced at this post just before I left for home and funny enough I found traffic on mbagathi backed up to the langata-mbagathi round about. When you see the traffic up to there things are thick. The last time I braved it, I was stuck for an hour! This time I wouldn't have any of that so I turned back at the round about towards nyayo stadium, took the slip road, up upper hill and came out a Kenyatta hospital in a record 15 minutes. At the mortuary round-about I found the other end of the mbagathi jam (thank God I escaped) but luckily the cops were there and had left a space for us guys to go down Ngong road.

I hear they don't have equipment; can someone confirm this?

SA have concrete roads. Did they call them in to show how its done?

googler said...

I live along mbagathi way and have watched the famed road turn into a fiasco as the months go by. They began really well moving at a really fast pace...but in the last couple of months almost nothings been done...i figure it has to do with chums...but then again...your guess is as good as mine...

Jadekitten said...

I have the misfortune of traversing that road more often than I would like, esp in the evenings.

I would guess the issue at stake is chums. The contractor, from a certain source, I hear is ex-gov't. So he pro'lly has more clout than would any other yellow-pages contractor. As for equipment, even if they REALLY don't have the necessary tools, is that not the reason there exists pre-qualification, and ore-inspection on award of tenders?

Now somone's pockets are getting lined at the expense of our fuel, time, and tax payer's money (not to mention the psychological effects of road rage and frustration by the time you get to where you're going).

Holy Cow said...

The Mbagathi Way rehabilitation project, which is a test case for cement-based roads in Kenya was to be completed by 31st July at a cost of 445M. Delay might be due to the contractor having other projects elsewhere or he wants to use a provision of "variation in prices" to raise the contract sum much higher.
@ coldtusker The cement used is donated by Portland, Bamburi and Athi River Mining Company so shortage is unilkely coz if the concrete pavement is adopted in Kenya, they'll be the major beneficiaries.
Bills are approved once the Resident Engineer is satisfied with quality of work thus payment follows but in the early stages, the contractor uses his own money till his bills are signed.
@69/\/\ Yes South Africa has some concrete roads and the design of Mbagathi way was based on a high-breed of South African & American Standards for rigid pavement design.
@jadekitten The system requires less equipment compared to the "normal road". A subcontractor, EPCO Builders delivers the cement to site after which its simply compaction and curing of the concrete.

Well, patience but if properly done, the road will be in a good condition for the next 35 years.

bankelele said...

coldtusker: Ever since the launch there have been no progress reports. I don't think its a shortage problem

Ntwiga: Not in this case

Jadekitten & 69/\/\: Too bad, I use it daily and try and make my journey during off peak times

googler: pole, we're all wondering

Holy Cow: Thanks for the answers. I agree that the Cement companies want this road to be a success and must be supplying whatever is asked for (more cmemnt roads - more cement sales). Hope it lasts 35 years ;->


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