Contractor seeks more time for Sh1bn road works


Pedestrians walk on the 3.4 Km dual carriageway under construction on Kisumu-Busia road. PHOTO | JACOB OWITI | NMG

The construction of the eight-kilometer dual carriageway Kisumu Boys roundabout–Mamboleo junction faces further delays after the contractor applied for an extension.

According to Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) Nyanza regional director Cleophas Makau, China Railway No.10 Engineering Group said the delay was occasioned by preparations to host the 58th Madaraka Day celebrations in Kisumu on June 1.

“The road was scheduled to be completed by this month but the rush to fix a section of the dilapidated road leading to Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium caused the contractor to slow down,” he said.

While he did not indicate the new timeline, he, however, said the work at the main highway is currently 80 percent done.

“They are almost completing the backfilling of the main highway that stretches from Mamboleo junction to Migosi junction,” he said.

“What remains of the service lanes is only tarmacking and installation of street lights.”

The contract was awarded to China Railway No.10 Engineering Group after the withdrawal of Israel contractor SBI International Holdings AG (Kenya) over alleged delayed payments.

The new contractor who was procured and started working on November 29, 2020, was given 12 months to complete the work.

The Sh1 billion road project, which was stopped in December 2018, is expected to enhance convenience for commuters entering the lakeside city from the neighbouring Kakamega, Vihiga and Nandi counties.

The programme which was jointly financed by the World Bank and the national government at a cost of Sh2.6 billion flopped after donor funding was exhausted before the completion of the project.

“Due to budget constraints, the government could not proceed with the project and had to look for alternative ways of financing the mega project,” the regional KeNHA boss said earlier.

Mr Makau stated that the highways authority is closely working with private sector players to improve the road network in Western Kenya, covering a network of over 1,500 kilometres.

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