The construction of the much touted Nairobi-Mombasa expressway is set to start this July. The mega road will generate over Sh. 600 billion within a 25-year period. This has been reported by a US based contractor, Bechtel, who is seeking to acquire tender for the major construction.
The expressway will be the first high-speed motorway in the region and will be expected to halve travel time between the two major cities. The dual carriageway will have two lanes on either sides and will run parallel to the current Nairobi-Mombasa Road.
Bechtel executives made public the firm’s estimate last week when they met Treasury officials to fine-tune the financing of the 473-kiometre road.
“The financing model was reviewed on March 13, 2018 with National Treasury, and shows a net cash positive position of $5.7 billion (Sh570 billion) for the Government of Kenya over 25 years under the Bechtel government-to-government model,” the contractor say.
Motorists are expected to cruise uninterrupted on the highway at speeds of up to 120km per hour. They will, however, pay toll charges for the luxury of cruising through the route that is currently characterised by heavy congestion and slow speeds.
Signing of loan agreement for the $3 billion project, whose cost excludes land acquisition, is expected in June and ground breaking a month later. The project will require 5,000 workers on site and is expected to take three years.
Early works will start from Nairobi’s Mombasa Road to Konza Techno-City through Sultan Hamud. The road will have interchanges to connect to the standard gauge railway and existing roads, along with 76 overpasses and 21 underpasses.
Besides creating jobs, suppliers of constructions materials are set to emerge as big winners. Early estimates indicate the project will consume 100,000 tonnes of cement and 40,000 tonnes of steel.
“The project can start construction in July 2018, with the first useable section of the expressway to be delivered in early 2020, and an additional 50 km opening every six months thereafter. This sectional approach provides useable sections which can be tolled during construction.”