The construction of the Sh160 billion toll highway from Nairobi to Mau Summit is expected to begin in September, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has said, raising hope of reducing traffic congestion on the northern corridor.
The 233-kilometre contract that was awarded to a French consortium made up of Vinci Highways SAS, Meridian Infrastructure Africa Fund, and Vinci Concessions SAS last year will see the road expanded into a four-lane dual carriageway through a Public-Private Partnership model.
The consortium is expected to design, finance, construct, operate and maintain the express.
The firm will then recoup its finances using the revenues and income generated by the electronic toll collection system along road over a period of 30 years.
The project will also involve widening of the existing Rironi- Mai Mahiu–Naivasha road to becoming a seven-metre carriageway with two-metre shoulders on both sides, construction of a four-kilometre elevated highway through Nakuru town, and building and improvement of interchanges along the highway.
"The project will upgrade the old Nairobi-Nakuru highway that serves the major trade route between Nairobi and Western Kenya,” said Transport Secretary James Macharia yesterday.
The project will improve transport connections for people and goods between the eastern and western parts of Kenya and neighbouring countries.
The Rironi–Nakuru–Mai Mahiu road forms a vital part of the most important transport corridor in Kenya — the Northern Corridor— which originates in Mombasa and terminates in Malaba.