The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has issued an apology to commuters who spent hours stuck in traffic at Witeithie area along the Thika Superhighway Tuesday morning.
The Authority blamed the situation, which has since been resolved, on a contractor who went outside the allowed hours of erecting a footbridge along the busy highway, which is currently a beehive of activities as Nairobi dwellers make the last-minute rush to their rural homes for Christmas and New Year festivities.
The snarl-up began as early as 6 AM Tuesday.
“KeNHA takes this opportunity to apologise and stand with Kenyans who have this morning been inconvenienced by our contractors’ poor traffic management plans at Witeithie,” the Authority said in a statement.
“At Witeithie, the contractor notified the Authority that they experienced a hiccup when hoisting the superstructure for the pedestrian footbridge last night. This greatly affected traffic flow for Thika Bound traffic, causing a massive traffic jam,” it added.
KeNHA Assistant Director for Corporate Communication Charles Njogu said that the Authority has issued a stern warning to the guilty contractor against inconveniencing travellers by closing the highway outside allowed hours.
Traffic is now flowing pic.twitter.com/z9p0yIuVvv
— Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) (@KeNHAKenya) December 24, 2019
” The Authority has instructed the contractor that they divert traffic within the notified timelines only (strictly between 11 pm and 4 am when there will be minimal interruptions),” he said in the statement.
Thika Road serves as an access highway to key rural Central Kenya locations such as Thika, Murang’a, Nyeri, Nyandarua, Meru, and Embu.
On Monday, travellers were again stranded along the same road as police officers carried out a crackdown on rogue drivers and unroadworthy vehicles as a means to curb road fatalities this festive season.
In its Tuesday statement, KeNHA once again warned motorists to observe road safety measures.
If you are travelling towards Thika-Muranga-Nyeri be warned. Witeithie is jam blocked pic.twitter.com/7FYUXCJgkD
— Kirima Nturibi (@K_mountainous) December 24, 2019