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Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) Director General Silas Kinoti has backed the use of  vertical drains  to provide an alternative route through which pore water can be drained rapidly hence improving the overall stability of the embankment in the quest to achieve sustainable management of urban roads Infrastructure.
Kinoti,a renowned engineer said Draining underground structures is an integral part of the lining systems as it prevents water penetration and development of hydrostatic pressure hence playing a fundamental role in the provision of road infrastructure in the urban areas.
“A strong support system is required while constructing roads in heavily trafficked areas, for example, parking spaces. These structures must have a maximum bearing capacity. Constructing unpaved roads on soft subsoil can cause rutting and intermixing of construction material with the subsoil.
“It is very common while building forest paths and other temporary construction roads. Rutting can be avoided, or at least minimized, by installing vertical drains and geogrids” he said.
Kinoti noted that provision for adequate drainage is of paramount importance in road design and cannot be overemphasized as the presence of excess water or moisture within the roadway will adversely affect the engineering properties of the materials with which it was constructed.
Cut or fill failures, road surface erosion, and weakened subgrades followed by a mass failure are all products of inadequate or poorly designed drainage. As has been stated previously, many drainage problems can be avoided in the location and design of the road: Drainage design is most appropriately included in alignment and gradient planning
“The proper maintenance of road drainage structures is being ignored in many countries. Drainage problems can be found everywhere in low traffic volume road networks, but they can also be found in main roads. As KURA we are making this happen in Kenya and this has even made our infrastructural networks better” he added.
Over recent years, when governments have been decreasing budget funding for maintenance operations on low traffic volume roads, money has been given for asphalt paving works at the expense of drainage maintenance which has generally been ignored.
KURA has continued to intensify infrastructural dev. in major towns in a bid give the urban centres a facelift.This according to DG Silas Kinoti who said that building modern infrastructure in towns is a key enabler for all other economic activities to thrive #DGKinotiAtWorks pic.twitter.com/ni39e5FCWj
— Tom Ochiel (@RobustPerfomer) July 10, 2022

Following recent heavy downpour, Mombasa Road and Uhuru Highway experienced traffic disruption because the pool of water on the Expressway was draining to the lower road, causing severe flooding.
Already,the Kenya National Highways Authority has told Nairobi residents that they are working to ensure the drainage system on the Nairobi Expressway is fixed.
An illustration of vertical drainage works(Pic courtesy
In a statement , KeNHA said that the contractor is working to ensure all other features of the Nairobi Expressway are also fixed and that the road is safe manner for all motorists
Horizontal drains are common road features on roads. However, in low land areas like the Coast where drainage is a challenge due to the low terrain, engineers use vertical drains to mitigate the dangers of excess water run-offs on the roads.
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