Uhuru Park spared in new expressway design
Contractors of the Sh61 billion Nairobi Expressway have revised the plan to hive 1.3 acres off Uhuru Park following a pathway adjustment to cut back on land compensation payouts.
Infrastructure Principal Secretary Paul Maringa assured Kenyans that the recreational ground would not be touched following the design changes.
“We have also carried out an optimisation review to limit land compensation,” said Maringa during a meeting with the Editor’s Guild.
This, he said, would ensure land acquisition does not inflate the cost of the yet-to-be-constructed 27-kilometre highway. In the updated design, other entities that could have been affected such as Nextgen mall and Hotel Boulevard, will suffer minimal intrusion.
Last week, government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said the exchequer will fork out Sh8 billion to settle a wave of compensation claims triggered by the construction of the expressway which commences next month.
Some Sh4.7 billion will be paid directly to property owners whose land will be hived off while Sh3.3 billion will be used to relocate services along the construction path. But in a revised design, the contentious Uhuru Park land will not be touched – a departure from the initial plans to slice off 23 metres (0.5 hectares) from the recreational park.