The government has revealed intentions of constructing a new expressway on Kiambu Road, Nairobi to ease traffic snarl-ups along the popular route.
Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has revealed that the new Kiambu Expressway will be constructed through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model to “reduce government spending on road construction”.
The CS made the announcement on Saturday during the launch of the recently built Haile Selassie Exit Plaza, one of Nairobi Expressway’s new structures located in downtown, Nairobi.
The event was attended by Roads PS Eng. Joseph Mbugua, KENHA DG Kung’u Ndung’u, Moja Express CEO Steve Zhao among others.
“We are going to initiate the Kiambu Road Expressway through PPP because that is currently the best mode for financing infrastructure projects,” Mr. Murkomen stated.
The new milestone comes in the wake of a sharp increase on weekdays from 10,00 trips to about 65,00 trips at Nairobi Expressway which has seen motorists use it as an alternative route to avoid traffic jams. But it is not evident how the expressway project will be implemented, considering that there is already a plan to change Kiambu Road into dual carriage. The Haile Selassie Exit Plaza has five lanes that are intended to reduce the traffic jam between Capital Centre and Haile Selassie Roundabout. The new expressway on Kiambu Road exit plaza will simplify connectivity to the Nairobi CBD, Upper Hill and Ngong Road.
After the introduction of the new exit, Moja Expressway Company which is SPV and Operator of 27.1km highway stated that traffic volume has increased from ten thousand trips to about sixty-five thousand trips on weekdays showing six fold growth.
The firm also mentioned that it was improving customer experience and service level by adding two more lanes at the JKIA entrance and Museum Hill exits.
Last year in April, Principal Secretary for Roads Joseph Mbugua stated that the government through Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) had signed a contract with Chinese firm Sinohydro Corporation Limited to undertake dualling project
Mr. Mbugua stated that the new expressway project will be implemented on an Engineer-Procure-Construct (EPC) basis whereby a contractor undertakes to engineer, procure and construct a structure according to specifications.
The Kiambu Road dualling project that traverses Muthaiga-Kiambu-Ndumberi is projected to cost $286.1 million (Sh46.3 billion), some of which will be spent on land acquisition and relocation services at a total amounting to $55, 260,000.
The project is projected to be financed by the Kenyan government in collaboration with China using the Chinese Exim Bank.
Last year, the Ministry of Roads and Transport wrote to National Treasury requesting funding for pre-project implementation activities.
Even after the State’s approval of Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) to go ahead for construction of new expressway on Kiambu Road, no date has been set for this project.