The construction and upgrade of the 84-kilometre single lane Kenol-Sagana-Marua Road in central Kenya into a dual carriageway is reportedly making good progress. This came to light when Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, and Housing, James Macharia was briefing African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina on the project and its significant milestone.
Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, saw the construction site while in Kenya for the four-day official visit and congratulated Kenya’s administration for its achievements. The project which is a part of the Great Trans-African Highway, which connects Cairo, Egypt, to Cape Town, South Africa, is planned to be finished in six months, two years ahead of schedule.
More than 17,000 people have gained skilled and semi-skilled employment as a result of the programme. Furthermore, the renovated route is projected to enhance regional integration by connecting the Isiolo-Moyale corridor, which connects the nation to neighbouring Ethiopia. It will also connect the Isiolo-Mandera corridor that connects Kenya and Somalia.
According to Adesina, the initiative would be part of both the African Development Bank’s and Kenya’s legacies.
Kenya to fast track Kenol-Makutano-Sagana-Marua highway
Kenya is set to fast track construction of the Kenol-Makutano-Sagana-Marua highway. This is after the government revised the completion dates of major road projects across the country particularly the Central region. According to Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, some of the major government projects which include dualing of the 84km Kenol-Makutano (Mwea)-Sagana-Marua highway at US $273.2m will be completed by June next year.
“The reason why we have routinely inspected the construction is to ensure that the projects are fast tracked to the new time frame. The president is also closely monitoring and looking forward to their completion,” said CS Macharia.
Some of the major road projects
Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) chairman Wangai Ndirangu said that the Authority were under clear instructions to have the projects ready by June 2022 for a presidential launch before the president retires. “To meet the deadline, we have awarded contracts to several contractors who are simultaneously undertaking the works on the Kenol-Marua road,” he confirmed.
The road will traverse Murang’a, Kirinyaga and Nyeri counties and is expected to significantly cut travelling times between Nairobi and Central Kenya counties. The contract also includes extending the Thika Superhighway to Kenol Township to ease traffic congestion in the peri-urban area.
The chairman also revealed that construction of 540km Mau Mau cluster roads, which was scheduled to be complete by June 2023, will be done by next year. The road will traverse Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri, Nyandarua and Nakuru counties. Gatakaini to Njabini road will make a direct link between Murang’a and Nyandarua counties while Naivasha to Njabini road will improve the link between Nakuru and Nyandarua further enhancing trade between the two counties. “Although we have revised the time frame, I can assure Kenyans that we shall not compromise the standards,” Mr. Wangai affirmed.
Dualization of Kenol-Sagana-Marua road in Kenya to kick-off
Preparations for the dualling of the Kenol-Sagana-Marua road in Central Kenya are now complete and construction works are expected to commence any time soon. Transport CS James Macharia said the dual carriage road will be done in two phases, one from Kenol to Sagana and the other from Sagana to Marua in Nyeri County.
He said the two phases will commence simultaneously so as to hasten the completion of the road before 2022. The CS said President Uhuru Kenyatta will soon commission the construction of the 135km dual carriage road. “The President will commission the dual carriage road and also the Mau Mau road which will connect Murang’a, Nyeri, Kiambu and Nyandarua counties,” he said.
Mr Macharia noted that the road will connect the Northern Corridor to Thika with the ongoing LAPPSET project and open Northern parts of the country as it will provide agriculturalists and traders from Central Kenya easy access to markets in Nairobi and other parts of Northern Kenya.
The CS further added that the US $300m road will open up Central region counties and spur economic growth, as it will hasten transportation of people and produce. The dual carriage road funded by the African Development Bank and the government of Kenya will later be extended to Isiolo from Marua.
The CS said the Mau Mau road, which borders the Aberdare forests will facilitate access from the eastern and western parts of the forests. “The 154km road will cut across Aberdare forests from Gatanga constituency to Njambini in Nyandarua, and then shorten the route to Naivasha from Murang’a and Nyeri counties,” added the CS. “The Mau Mau road will also have other feeder roads which will connect towns near Aberdare forests,” noted Macharia, adding that the feeder roads will increase the length of the road to about 450km.
US $273.3M Kenol-Sagana-Marua road in Kenya to open in December
The Kenol-Marua dual carriageway project in Kenya is set to be partially opened before the end of the year. Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia revealed and said the highway will be opened in December to give reprieve to motorists and pedestrians.
The US $273.3m projects is the country’s second most expensive road after the Thika superhighway (US $418m) It is set to connect the Northern Corridor from Nairobi to the Lapsset Corridor in Isiolo, an African Development Bank (AfDB) financed project that is expected to link Kenya to Ethiopia.
The 84km road project starts from Kenol Township in Murang’a through Makutano and Sagana in Kirinyaga County, proceed to Kambiti in Machakos and ends at Marua in Nyeri County.
Short time travel
Phase one of the project will see 36 kilometres of road constructed from Sagana to Marua while the second phase will stretch for 48 kilometres from Kenol to Sagana. The project is also scheduled to be fully completed a year earlier.
The road was to be completed in 2023 however, the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) chairman Wangai Ndirangu said that the Authority were under clear instructions to have the projects ready by June 2022 for a presidential launch before the President Uhuru Kenyatta retires.
The expansion of the Kenol-Sagana-Marua highway coded A2 upon completion is expected to majorly impact the regions it cuts through, which are Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Nyeri, Machakos and Embu counties.
Travelling time between Nyeri and Nairobi will be cut down by at least one hour. Gatakaini to Njabini road will make a direct link between Murang’a and Nyandarua counties while Naivasha to Njabini road will improve the link between Nakuru and Nyandarua further enhancing trade between the two counties. The highway will open up the northern corridor, creating employment opportunities in the agriculture, tourism, and small and medium-sized enterprises sectors.