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Traders to lose millions over road expansion

Property valued at more than a billion shillings could be smashed down to make way for three new roads.

More than 400 businesses on Enterprise, Lusaka and Likoni roads in Industrial Area will be pulled down in one month’s time.

Owners have already been issued with notices to quit by the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura).

Work on the roads dubbed the Nairobi Eastern missing links will start in April, according to Kura records. They will take huge trucks off Mombasa Road and curb traffic jams.

The first will be the 1.8 kilometre extension of Likoni Road to connect  Mombasa Road and Enterprise Road.

Second will be the 2.2 kilometre stretch of Enterprise Road that will be made into a dual carriage way from the Homa Bay junction to the Likoni Road/ Mombasa Road  junction.

This will ensure heavy commercial vehicles carrying goods from Industrial Area will use an overpass at Mombasa Road on their way to the Southern Bypass, meaning they will not go on Mombasa Road to town

And third will be another new dual carriageway taking Lusaka Road 2-5 kilometres from the Mombasa Road junction to where  car dealers DT Dobie stands.

The new roads are part of a Sh 6.7 billion programme by the European Union and the Kenyan Government to open up Industrial Area, currently jammed with traffic.

To help other road users, footpaths and cycle tracks will be built on Rabai Road and Lusaka Road from Enterprise Road junction to the Jogoo Road junction. This was agreed after it was realized most local factory workers either walked or cycled to work.

The projects are expected to be completed in three years, according to Kura. However, business people in the area said they would defy the Kuran notice to quit.

“We are not aware of the impending demolitions. No one told us,” said Mr Njoroge Karani, a food kiosk operator in the area. Mr Karani said that the although the area was congested, their businesses relied on workers in the local factories and moving them would cause another crisis.

Kura’s communications chief John Cheboi said compensation plans for genuine traders had been finalised.

“We did a physical profiling of the real people whose livelihoods will be affected  by the road works and they will be paid something to enable them have a soft landing,” he said.