US $230m has been approved by the African Development Bank Group for the expansion of Great North Road in Kenya set to link major economic hubs in Kenya. The project is part of broader government efforts to improve the country’s infrastructure, including the construction of 1,304 km of new roads in recent years.
Great North Road
The road project involves converting the 84km Kenol–Sagana–Marua Road in central and eastern Kenya from a two-way single carriageway into a dual bypass and is due for completion in 2025.
The new road will enhance traffic flow between the port city of Mombasa and major centres like Nairobi. It will also ease transport between Nairobi and the Mount Kenya region; and ultimately Ethiopia.
The overall cost of the project will be US $282m out of which the 69% will be financed by the Bank Group, while 12% will come from the Africa Growing Together Fund, set up by the Bank and the People’s Bank of China in 2014 and the remaining 19% will be financed by the Kenyan government.
The current Kenol–Sagana–Marua Road is situated along the Great North Road, which forms part of the 800km stretch between Nairobi and Moyale and runs across the five counties of Muranga, Kirinyaga, Machakos, Embu and Nyeri.
Kenol–Sagana–Marua Road is also part of the Trans-Africa Highway, commonly known as the Cape to Cairo route. Approximately, 1.15 million people will benefit from the upgraded highway.
“Building a 21st century road must also take into account climate change, which often leads to road runoff, flooding and erosion. In order to counter these phenomena, trees will be planted in the surrounding area,” said AfDB in a statement.