Months before works on the multi-billion Rironi- Mau Summit expressway begins, residents along the road have petitioned the State to consider erecting footbridges along upcoming towns.
In their petition, the residents attributed the rising number of fatal accidents along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway to the lack of pedestrian crossing points, noting that the design on the Ksh160 billion expressway should help address this.
Over the last two years, tens of pedestrians have been hit and killed by speeding motorists due to a lack of speed bumps or footbridges.
This emerged when residents of Gilgil met officials from Kenya National Highway Authority (KENHA) to give their views on the upcoming road.
According to Gilgil MP Martha Wangari, the road is critical to the economy of the country and would ease the mode of movement and increase business opportunities for all Kenyans alike.
During the meeting, Wangari supported the calls for the construction of footbridges noting that this would help reduce the high number of pedestrians killed along the current highway.
“We held a consultative meeting with KENHA and we have raised the issue of footbridges next to major towns to assist residents safely cross the road,” she said.
Wangari also called for the construction of a trailer parking bay in towns like Kikopey and Salgaa so as to reduce the current congestion.
“We expect works by the French consortium to kick off in the next one month and this will be a game-changer for the region,” she said.
Wangari at the same time challenged the contractor to consider local youths while employing workers for the road.
One of the youth leaders Peterson Kiarie echoed the sentiments noting that in the past youths had been forgotten in terms of job opportunities.
“The construction of this expressway will give us job opportunities and also lead to the growth of tens of towns along the route,” he said.
Another resident Ann Wambui called on KENHA to make sure that the issue of safety for pedestrians was addressed to curb the high number of fatal accidents.
“Many people have lost their lives through accidents on the current highway and we hope the design of the expressway will address this,” she said.
The Nairobi-Nakuru highway has been identified as one of the killer roads in the country due to the rising number of fatal accidents on several black spots.