The World Bank has advanced Kenya Sh25.2 billion ($300 million) to expand the capacity of Uhuru highway, which bisects Nairobi’s central business district, and to initiate a rapid bus transit and commuter rail system.
The major components of the project include the construction of two additional lanes from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Nyayo Stadium from where an elevated roadway with two lanes on either side will be erected to the roundabout.
The project, expected to reduce traffic congestion in Nairobi and facilitate quicker movement of goods and persons transiting through the capital city, also includes the addition of two lanes from Museum Hill to Uthiru and the rehabilitation of the existing carriageway to Rironi.
“By helping to ease traffic congestion and develop a modern commuter system, this project will enable Nairobi to remain a great city in which to live and to do business,” said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Kenya.
The Kenyan government will invest ($113 million) in the 55 kilometre long infrastructural undertaking that will also expand access roads to the country’s major airport and Inland Container Depot.
“Developing public transport systems that move large numbers of commuters will relieve the worsening traffic congestion, and improve the local business climate,” said Mr Josphat Sasia, the project’s team leader.
Part of the loan will also be used by Kenya Railways to finance the construction of a metro rail system in Nairobi.
Developments of bypasses in Kisumu and Meru have also been factored in the credit line.
The funding brings the total amount of transport related investments in Kenya by the Bretton Woods institution to Sh131 billion ($1.56 billion).
A total of 1,322 people carrying out informal businesses on temporary stands and kiosks along the JKIA – Rironi road side shall be affected by the planned project and the government has already worked out a Resettlement Plan income restoration (IR) scheme to ensure that no persons are left worse off than they were before the project.