Bypasses help spruce up the face of Meru
Project, funded by the International Development Association to the tune of Sh2.3 billion, is about to be completed
Meru county is set to benefit from the construction of two bypasses situated within Meru Municipality. The project, which is under Kenya Urban Roads Authority, will decongest Meru Town and its environs, according to officials.
The Eastern and Western Bypasses in Meru county commissioned in 2014 and 2015 are part of Vision 2030 infrastructure projects. The Eastern Bypass is 12 kilometres long. It starts off in Gikumene, covering the stretch over 12 kilometres all the way to the Makutano junction in Meru Town.
The bypasses are expected to give residents and business owners a sigh of relief from years of traffic snarlups that would take hours to clear, leaving Meru Town in a state of lockdown.
“I have been stuck at Meru open market for close to three hours, yet the distance from the market to my house is only three kilometres,” said Rose Makena, who works in Mikinduri subcounty. The jam is worse during occasions such as graduation ceremonies at Kenya Methodist University, which mostly leave the town in limbo for days.
“During my graduation ceremony, my guests could not get to the graduation square, and had to wait over five kilometres away. It was worse after the event because I had to walk a long distance to meet them,” remembers Victoria Njogu, now a lecturer.
Residents whose parcels of land were repossessed by the government ahead of the construction of the 50 kilometre projects are also happy after having been compensated.
Shadrack Mugiira, whose eighth of an acre of land was bought off for the road project, is now settled in Ruiri, where he bought two acres of land.
“Half an acre in this place was sold for Sh300,000 but immediately the surveyors started mapping the road, the prices went up. An eighth is now Sh1.5 million,” he said.
The construction of the roads has also created employment for the local community. Eric Mbaabu is a consultant surveyor, in charge of liaising with the contractor, supervision and coordination of various activities onsite.
“Labourers have been trained and some are even in a position to start their own ventures with the skills they have acquired once this project is done,” he says.
Upon completion, the roads will boost the business prospects as some enterpreneural minds have already invested heavily along the bypass.
The project, funded by the International Development Association to the tune of Sh2.3 billion is about to be completed, and will be in use by end of the year, said Joseph Mburu, a liaison officer in the project being carried out by H Young Construction Company.
A section of the bypass from Gikumene, on the outskirts of Meru town