Challenges Faced in the Implementation of Planned Safety Measures in Mega Infrastructure Projects
A Case Study of Road Safety on Thika Superhighway
The aim of this paper is to report on a study that investigated the impact of the failure of the planning phase on a mega construction as exemplified by road safety challenges on the Thika Superhighway, Kenya. Accordingly, the study covered the various challenges faced in the implementation of the planned safety measures in mega infrastructure projects. The study relied on purposive sampling of the key informants/ opinion leaders i.e. the Employer (Kenya National Highways Authority), Traffic Police, Design Engineers (APEC Consulting Engineers Limited), the umbrella body of resident associations in Kenya (KARA), and the Contractors (China Wu Yi / Sino Hydro / Shengli) who had been directly involved in the project. The data was collected via interviews, questionnaires, and focus group discussions (FGDs) for residents living along the highway. The research findings indicated that there were various challenges faced during the implementation of the planned road safety measures such as poor road infrastructure design, poor human behavior, and inadequate resources, which was an indication of failure by planners to consider road safety during the planning phase of the project. These failures were exemplified by multiple accidents during the construction of the superhighway. The study recommends the adoption of a context-sensitive approach to roadbuilding. The government should also emphasize the need for public participation and stakeholder engagement during the planning phase of mega road infrastructure projects in line with the Constitution of Kenya (2010). This will further ensure that all stakeholders ‘own’ the project.