Chinese firm wins Ruaka to Ruiru bypass tender

Transport secretary James Macharia. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Transport secretary James Macharia. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Work is set to begin on the Northern Bypass, which stretches from Ruaka trading centre along Limuru Road to Ruiru, after the government handed the contract to a Chinese firm.

Transport and Infrastructure secretary James Macharia, in an interview on Tuesday, said the ministry has signed a commercial agreement with Sinohydro Limited, a Chinese state-owned hydropower engineering and construction firm paving the way for financing plans for the 31-kilometre project.

The multi-billion shillings road is one of the government’s major infrastructure projects aimed at making the country a regional investment hub.

“We have entered into a commercial agreement with Sinohydro as part of a wider plan for the dualling of the Northern Bypass,” said Mr Macharia in a telephone interview.

“We are looking forward to getting funds from prospective financiers. We hope the project together with the Eastern Bypass construction will cost between Sh30 billion and Sh40 billion. This should be sorted out in the next three months after which construction works will start in the next four months.”

Mr Macharia said the scope of the work will involve construction of interchanges and flyovers, box culverts, and standard-size culverts.

The dualling of the road is expected to take about two years once it is commissioned.

Once complete, the Northern Bypass will be wide enough to accommodate two heavy commercial vehicles going opposite directions.

The dualling of the road is part of 11 infrastructure projects showcased by the Kenyan government delegation to international investors during the two-day Belt and Road Forum for International Co-operation in Beijing, China last May.