Kura to deploy Sh8 billion traffic management system in Nairobi

Motorists in a traffic jam at the Nyayo Stadium roundabout in Nairobi on April 7, 2015.

The Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) has invited tenders for the first phase of the Sh8.4 billion Nairobi Intelligent Transport System.

The contract includes the upgrading of 25 intersections and the construction of a traffic management centre, six vehicle detection systems, a variable message sign (used to display traveller information messages to inform drivers of incidents, travel times, diversions, special events and other useful road conditions or travel information) and a surveillance system comprising 20 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and a communications network.

According to the authority, the project will improve the interchanges to cope with increasing traffic demand.

Kura director general Silas Kinoti said in a release on Tuesday that Kenya had secured a Sh8.4 billion loan from the Export-Import Bank of Korea.

"Kura now invites sealed bids from eligible bidders for the implementation of the project, which should be completed within 30 months from the commencement date. In addition, upon completion, the contractor shall send experts to provide support and assistance for a period of 2 years," the notice said. 

In May last year, Kura said it had engaged the services of Korean consortium Cheil Engineering Company Limited to manage the bidding and design process, with the consortium being tasked with managing the implementation of the first phase of the project.

"The consortium will provide assistance in bid evaluation, negotiation, supervision of the detailed engineering design of the project, construction of the traffic management centre (TMC), [and] support in preparing for operation and maintenance," Kura said in a statement.

The Intelligent Transport System uses artificial intelligence to manage urban traffic.

It uses intelligent cameras, variable traffic lights and a control centre to monitor and control traffic - reducing the workload of traffic police officers.

The system can analyse traffic flow data in real time, allowing traffic to flow longer on the busiest roads, minimising unnecessary waiting times.

The intelligent traffic control system also includes a mobile electronic policing system that allows flexible monitoring of general traffic conditions.

In January 2021, Kura said the design of the TMC had been completed and preparations were underway to break ground for the facility, which will be located on a 10-acre plot of land in the City Canabas area on Mombasa Road.

The TMC will have several floors that will house various stakeholders involved in traffic management in Nairobi, including traffic police officers, city engineers and systems specialists who will monitor and act on traffic flow data in real time.