NAIROBI- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday launched the construction of a Chinese funded road project dubbed the “Nairobi Expressway” to decongest the capital city of Nairobi.
Kenyatta said that the 26.8 km dual carriageway, which is the first of its kind in Kenya, is expected to help to modernize the country’s infrastructure.
“Kenya will now have modern roads similar to those common in developed countries,” said Kenyatta.
The road project, which is being implemented by the Kenya National Highway Authority (KENHA), will be built under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) partnership model with China Roads and Bridge Corporation as both the concessionaire and investor.
KENHA said that the expressway will have 10 toll stations to levy a fee to motorists who use the facility so that the investor can recoup its funds.
According to KENHA, the road project will be constructed at a cost of 62 billion shillings (599 million U.S. dollars) and will be completed in the next 36 months.
KENHA noted that the first 15.6 km will be constructed at grade level and the rest at an elevated level.
“The Nairobi expressway coupled with the recently completed Nairobi Southern bypass is expected to greatly decongest the city’s central business district, reduce journeys for motorists and lessen vehicle operating costs for both local and transit vehicles,” said the road agency.
The road agency added that the expressway is a critical piece of infrastructure because it provides seamless connectivity to the northern corridor, which connects the port of Mombasa to landlocked countries in East Africa.