Explainer: Nairobi expressway - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 13 February 2021

Explainer: Nairobi expressway

 

Getting stuck in one of Nairobi's nightmare traffic jams is a reality city dwellers have learnt to live with.

However they may get a reprieve as early as next year, at a fee. 

China Road and Bridge Corporation is working day and night to build the Sh62 billion expressway. 

On February 2, Transport CS James Macharia announced that the contractor had committed to complete the project by December.

Macharia said testing will take two months and it is anticipated that the project will be open for use by February next year.

Initially, construction was to take three years.

Traffic snarl-ups in the Nairobi metropolis are estimated to cost the country Sh2 billion annually.

Sections of the expressway will have eight, six, and four lanes based on traffic projections.

There will be a four-lane dual carriageway from Mlolongo to the Eastern Bypass and a six-lane dual carriageway from the Eastern Bypass to the Southern Bypass.

There will be a four-lane dual carriageway from the Southern Bypass to St Mark's Church in Westlands and a four-lane dual carriageway from St Mark's Church to James Gichuru Road.

Macharia said Kenyans want to start using the expressway as they have been taking more than two hours from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to the city.

With the completion of the multibillion-shilling project, it will take between 15 and 20 minutes to cover the 27-kilometre stretch which starts from African Inland Church, Mlolongo, all the way to James Gichuru on Waiyaki way.

The project is under Build Operate Transfer contract, meaning that CRBC will build and operate the expressway for 27 years to recoup the money it has spent to put it up.

CRBC is set to pocket Sh106.8 billion as profit for the 27 years. After 27 years, CRBC will hand over the project to the government.

Macharia said the expressway is the largest Build Operate Transfer project in Eastern and Central Africa.

He said the government could not raise such a huge sum for the project.

Interchanges will be built at Mlolongo, Syokimau, JKIA, Eastern Bypass, Southern Bypass, Capital Centre, Haile Selassie, Museum Hill, Westlands, and the Mainline station at the endpoint—St Mark's/Lion Place.

The Transport ministry on December 31 last year published a notice in the Kenya Gazette designating the Sh62 billion expressway project as a toll road.

It also set the rates to be charged.

Users will pay between Sh100 and Sh1,500.

The estimated toll per kilometre of the 27.1-km road is Sh11.50.

The toll ranges between Sh6 and Sh30 per kilometre depending on the size of the vehicle.

The charges will depend on the type of vehicle and entry and exit points.

Motorists on light vehicles with two axles will pay Sh100 to Sh300, depending on entry and exit points.

Those on light vehicles with two axles and a high bonnet will pay Sh150 to Sh450, also depending on entry and exit points.

A motorist driving on the expressway from AIC Mlolongo to the standard gauge railway, Syokimau, or Eastern Bypass will part with Sh160.

Drivers with heavy vehicles with fewer than four axles will pay Sh400 to Sh1,200.

Those with heavy vehicles with more than four axles will pay Sh500 to Sh1,500, depending on entry and exit points.

Some vehicles are however exempted from paying toll fees.

These are ambulances, police vehicles, military vehicles, and others to be specified by the ministry.

Boda bodas and tuk-tuks will be banned from using the road.

The expressway will have nine stations.

Interchanges will be built at Mlolongo, Syokimau, JKIA, Eastern Bypass, Southern Bypass, Capital Centre, Haile Selassie, Museum Hill, Westlands, and the Mainline station at the endpoint—St Mark's/Lion Place.

There will be a roundabout at the junction of Enterprise Road and Mombasa Road, and another at the junction of James Gichuru and Red Hill Link Road.

The project will have four pedestrian footbridges at Mlolongo, Imara Daima, General Motors and St Mark's.

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