The Transport ministry has set itself a timeline of six months to complete the upgrade of access roads leading to the inland container depot (ICD) in Embakasi in a move set to ease movement of trucks around the facility.
President Uhuru Kenyatta opened the Sh21 billion upgraded inland container depot in the Eastern suburb of Nairobi last December to facilitate handling of the cargo from the port of Mombasa.
“We are in the process of awarding contracts for the construction of three access roads leading to the ICD. The budget for the roads are part and parcel of ICD expansion project.” said Kenya Railways managing director Atanas Maina.
“We expect construction to start in the next six months.”
Mr Maina, who spoke in Nairobi on Thursday during a meeting with cargo owners indicated that one of the roads will link the ICD to the Southern by-pass at Olesereni, running alongside the Nairobi National Park.
The second road called road B is expected to link the ICD to Eastern by-pass and connect to Thika.
However, Road C will link ICD to industrial area through Isuzu East Africa.
“The roads will allow for accessibility of ICD such that cargo coming in and out has three major routes. What is going to industrial area, central Kenya and Western Uganda will have its own dedicated route,” he said.
Kenya Railways is set to run freight trains with 54 double-stack wagons each, carrying 216 twenty foot containers each with a total load of 4,000 tonnes on each train.
The Kenya Railways has been given a target of six million tonnes to the Nairobi ICD, which has been expanded from the current capacity of 180,000 teus (twenty-foot equivalent unit) to 450,000 teus at a cost of Sh21 billion.