President Uhuru Kenyatta has embarked on yet another ambitious and expensive infrastructure project even just one year towards the conclusion of his final term in office.
His government says that it has given green light to construction of an express highway connecting Nairobi to Mau summit covering almost 233 kilometres.
This road will consume a total of US$1,482,854,480. According to details, construction kicks off in September 2021 and will last at least 42 months.
The 233-kilometre contract that was awarded to a French consortium made up of Vinci Highways SAS, Meridian Infrastructure Africa Fund, and Vinci Concessions SAS last year will see the road expanded into a four-lane dual carriageway through a Public-Private Partnership model.
The consortium is expected to design, finance, construct, operate and maintain the express.
The firm will then recoup its finances using the revenues and income generated by the electronic toll collection system along road over a period of 30 years.
The project will also involve widening of the existing Rironi- Mai Mahiu–Naivasha road to becoming a seven-metre carriageway with two-metre shoulders on both sides, construction of a four-kilometre elevated highway through Nakuru town, and building and improvement of interchanges along the highway.
The Rironi–Nakuru–Mai Mahiu road forms a vital part of the most important transport corridor in Kenya — the Northern Corridor— which originates in Mombasa and terminates in Malaba.
It also serves traffic destined to Narok, South Western Kenya and Northern Tanzania.
Two toll stations are set to be developed along the Nairobi-Mau Summit highway project.
According to Transport Secretary James Macharia, “The project will upgrade the old Nairobi-Nakuru highway that serves the major trade route between Nairobi and Western Kenya.”
President Uhuru last year flew to Paris France where he was hosted by his French counterpart President Emmanuel Macron. It is during this trip that Uhuru courted the French consortium to invest in this ambitious infrastructure project.
Meanwhile, President Uhuru last week boasted that he has outperformed all his predecessors by expanding the country’s economy to a Gross Domestic Product of Ksh10.3 trillion compared to GDP of Ksh.4.5 trillion accumulated by three previous presidents combined.
According to him, under seven years of his tenure, he had done more than founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the late Daniel Arap Moi and retired President Mwai Kibaki.
“The colonisers left us with a GDP of close to Ksh. 6.4b, the combined administrations of Mzee Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki increased GDP to Ksh.4.5 trillion, in a span of 50 years, but in only 8 years I have; has doubled that, and we are worth 10.3 trillion,” President Uhuru said.