Construction of JKIA rail project linking Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Nairobi CBD is set to face further delays.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia confirmed the report and said President Kenyatta’s French trip did not lead to the signing of the deal, which was to fund the construction of the five kilometre metre-gauge line linking the airport to standard-gauge rail (SGR) terminus in Syokimau.
“No agreements were signed, we just reviewed progress towards the launch of the project Nairobi had been expected to close the US $156M financing deal in Paris when the President made the two-day visit to the French capital,” said Mr Macharia.
JKIA rail project
The JKIA-Nairobi city centre railway line project was planned to decongest the capital city and reduce the time taken between the central business district and the region’s largest international airport which handled 11.7 million domestic and international fliers last year. The distance between JKIA and Nairobi City Centre is 20km, and normally it should take between 30 minutes and an hour at most to travel between the two points, however, it takes up to 120 minutes due to traffic on the usually busy Mombasa Road.
The JKIA rail project, which will also be complemented by a Rapid Bus Transit System, upon completion will freely ship at least 500,000 urban commuters daily for a period of 12 months upon its completion. The number is expected to rise up to 1 000 000 in the following five years’ time.
The project which is planned to be complete in 24 months after start of works, will be undertaken by French companies in conjunction with Kenyan state. Deals, alongside the CBD-JKIA railway link project, also include a 30-year concession for a consortium led by Vinci to operate a highway between Nairobi and Mau Summit in Western Kenya.