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Economy

Private firm to pick toll fees on Nairobi Expressway for 27 years

Work in progress on Nairobi Expressway
Work in progress on Nairobi Expressway. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The private company funding construction of the Nairobi Expressway will operate the road for 27 years to recoup funds spent in the project before ceding it to the State.

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) said the private firm will be granted concession to operate the road and recover funds through charging motorists toll fees.

KeNHA did not disclose the firm but said the deal has already been signed paving the way for construction of Kenya’s first double-decker expressway at an estimated cost of Sh59 billion and financed under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) will build the 27.1km road linking the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

The project launched in October last year and will take three years to complete, is expected to reduce heavy traffic on Mombasa Road which usually starts from Mlolongo to the city centre.

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“The private company will be granted a concession to build, operate and transfer the project for 30 years that includes a construction period of three years and thereafter an operation & maintenance period of 27 years,” KenHA said.

KeNHA and the private company had early this month invited firms to apply for consultancy services to monitor construction of the road and its performance for one year upon completion.

The state agency in charge of roads closed the bids on August 4 but is yet to publicly disclose the consulting firm picked to offer advisory services for the project.

The Nairobi Expressway involves a four-lane and six-lane dual carriageway within the existing median of Mombasa Road/Uhuru Highway/Waiyaki Way and 10 interchanges.

The toll charges will be kept in a special fund to finance maintenance of the highways and repayment of other roads built by private contractors but fail to generate enough funds to pay investors due to low number of users.

Toll fees were introduced in the late 1980s but were scrapped in the mid-90s in favour of the roads maintenance levy currently charged at Sh18 per litre for petrol and diesel.

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