The Standard Gauge Railway between Nairobi and Naivasha will be completed in August and not June as earlier projected.
Chinese Communications Construction Company, communication officer Jasper Lui blames the delay on compensation row between the National Lands Commission and affected landowners around the 5-kilometre section in Ngong.
Speaking after touring the Mai Mahiu and Suswa stations, Lui said the contractor is
“We expect the railway line to be complete by August depending on the compensation row in Ngong as already 90 per cent of the project is complete,” he said.
During the visit, the senior officer retaliated that the railway was safe despite been constructed in an area where volcanic activity was still active.
Lui said other earthquake resistant measures incorporated in the construction of the rail included building the railway track on a wider sub-grade – the foundation on which the track is built on.
“The sub-grade and slope in the SGR Phase 2A are relatively higher and wider in comparison to Phase 1 from Mombasa to Nairobi,” he said.
He is assuring members of the public that the railway line was safe to use despite being constructed in an area with active volcanic activity.
He says geologists and earthquake experts were involved before the project kicked off and during the construction of the railway line earthquake-resistant materials were.
He said during construction of the project the contractor determined the safest seismic fortification to be implemented in the construction was to meet an earthquake resistance intensity of 8, in the area between Embulbul – Ngong and Duka Moja – Narok.
“When we began planning the construction of the SGR Phase 2A, we mobilized many seasoned geologists from the renowned China Seismological Bureau and to conduct a thorough geological survey in the seismic belt along the railway line,” he said.
He noted that the railway would not be affected since the earthquake resistance intensity used in construction was set considerably higher than what was ideally recommended.
“In the unlikely event of the rail corridor experiencing an earthquake similar to the 2008 Chinese Great Sichuan earthquake, it is guaranteed the railway line and other supporting infrastructure will not be destroyed,” he said.
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