Kenya: US$2.9bn six-lane expressway to be constructed

28 September 2017

Kenya is intending to construct a brand new road between Mombasa and Nairobi instead of expanding the existing highway. The government has decided to construct a completely new six-lane expressway to run side by side with the existing one.

In another three years, a Kenyan traveling from Mombasa to Nairobi will have at least four major options: the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) passenger train; take a flight and land in the coastal town orchoose one of two roads.

The six-lane expressway project is under the execution of Bechtel Corporation, the largest construction and civil engineering company in America.

“Under the Exim Bank financing model, the government has the opportunity to privatise or securitise the individual sections of the expressway. This can reduce the total borrowing requirements,” said the DG of the Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) Engineer Peter Mundinia.

“Private investors will buy the road and charge toll fees. The fee is in line with the initial Public Private Partnership (PPP) model once the construction is complete.”

Kenha, handed the project to the American firm without a competitive process, says the development is under its mandate. Available estimates show that the project cost is US$2.9bn, excluding the cost of buying the land.

“Once completed, the expressway will play a critical role in improving Kenya’s transportation logistics and trade competitiveness while supporting the spatial and industrial development along the corridor,” Mundinia said.

The expressway project includes the highway capacity through construction of the greater Nairobi-Southern Bypass which has been planned for several years, thereby contributing to decongestion of the fast-growing Nairobi Metropolitan Area. 

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