KeNHA drills tunnels to stem floods

Kenya National Highways Authority has resorted to drilling tunnels across select parts of national highways to mitigate flooding during rainy seasons.
Flooded road.

Kenya National Highways Authority has resorted to drilling tunnels across select parts of national highways to mitigate flooding during rainy seasons.

In the new “micro-tunneling” technology being deployed in flood-prone zones, Thika Road’s Clay Works area is the first port of call for the contracted company.

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The area will get a tunnel across the highway to drain the water that tends to flood the road when it pours heavily.

Similar work will be undertaken on Kipande Road to drain water into Nairobi River.

Videos of people trapped and cars being swept off the road are shared out every year, but little has been done until now.

A similar three-mouth tunnel will be dredged across a section of Thika-Garissa road, with the water draining into Chania River.

“We have settled on this technology since it also saves the need to dig open trenches which would disrupt traffic flow. We are using a remotely controlled micro-tunnel boring machine,” Grace Mathai, the engineer in charge of Thika road, told Sunday Standard.

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She said they are using state-of-the-art machines and equipment to ensure the work is done to high standards at the shortest time.

“We are doing this with minimal disruption and we should be out soon. We believe this will ease the suffering of Thika Road motorists who are inconvenienced a great deal whenever it floods,” said Ms Mathai.

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