KeNHA to upgrade Mombasa Road to Expressway standard in Sh24.8bn plan


The Nairobi Expressway Mlolongo Toll Station. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) on Tuesday said that plans are underway to upgrade the old Mombasa Road to the standards of Nairobi Expressway in a Sh24.8 billion project that will see new footbridges and pedestrians’ paths constructed.

KeNHA Director General Kungu Ndungu said on Tuesday that the construction will start soon after the repair of the sections of the road destroyed during the construction of the Expressway is complete. 

He said that the restoration of sections of the road that were damaged during the construction of the 27km road is almost complete.  

“There is need to enhance the facility that was existing before the Expressway. Therefore, KeNHA is going to implement additional facilities including footbridges while also strengthening the old road. We expect contracts to be in place in about eight weeks,” said Ndungu. 

Kenha had said that the State intends to acquire additional land to upgrade the old road by expanding some sections, building walkways and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) after the current works are complete.

The National Treasury estimates that taxpayers will spend about Sh24.8 billion with much of the allocation going towards compensation for the acquisition of the land.

By end of June last year, the exchequer had released a total of Sh5.93 billion for the toll road, with a big chunk of the funds being used for land compensation during the construction of 27.4-kilometre highway and the transfer of such utilities as water pipes, power lines and fibre optics.

The Nairobi Expressway, which links Westlands to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), was built by a Chinese contractor on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model at a total cost of Sh88 billion.

The government also set aside Sh9 billion to rehabilitate sections of the old Mombasa Road that were damaged by the contractor.

The expenditure of Sh24.8 billion is in addition to a contingent liability of the multi-billion project that exposes Kenya’s government to lawsuits should the project abort before the 27 years that the contractor, China Road and Bridge Corporation, is expected to recover its investments.

The Chinese firm is expected to earn an estimated Sh106.8 billion profit for the 27 years it will own the expressway.

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