The Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) has allocated Sh.1.04 billion for rehabilitation and maintenance of a 100km section between Voi and Mtito Andei along Nairobi-Mombasa highway to enhance smooth flow of goods and passengers along the busy route.
The contract for the three-year project will be undertaken by two companies with each covering a part of the 102km stretch cutting across Tsavo National Park.
Septcom Limited will rehabilitate the section from Voi town to Tsavo River at a cost of sh.509 million while Koroto Engineering Limited will work on Tsavo-River to Mtito Andei Township at a cost of sh. 531 million. The works, which are expected to take three years, started on Monday this week and will end on 10thMarch 2022.
Speaking in Mwatate on Tuesday, during the County Development and Coordination Committee meeting, KeNHA official in Taita-Taveta County, Eng. Samuel Kagwanja said the maintenance works would enhance movement of cargo and passengers along the busy highway. He added that the contractor is mobilizing for equipment and resources to start major works.
“The work will take three years and we expect the contractors to be done by 2022,” said the engineer.
The works will include site clearance, earthworks, installation of culverts and drainage works, bituminous surface treatment and road maintenance amongst other works. The maintenance will be conducted under KeNHA’s Performance Based Contract.
The maintenance of the stretch comes at a time when KeNHA also announced the rehabilitation of 52-km Bachuma-Voi section along the busy highway was 99.31 per cent complete. The stretch was notorious for creating massive jams that forced hundreds of commuters spending the night in the cold.
Kagwanja said the road is now in use and the contractor is currently doing minor maintenance works.
“The project was for 24 months and was running up to 26th May 2019. It’s almost done,” he disclosed. The Bachuma-Voi contract was valued at Sh.1.47 billion.
The Taita-Taveta County Commissioner (CC), Rhoda Onyancha expressed her satisfaction with the works at Bachuma section but noted the need to address the many accidents occurring along that section, saying since the road was opened for use, several accidents have been reported especially at Miasenyi area.
“It is good the road is now in use but there is need for KeNHA to probe why the accidents have become common in that stretch,” she said.
She further directed the traffic police to intensify patrols along the route to deter drivers from speeding.
Kagwanja disclosed that KeNHA was designing signage that would indicate the area as a blackspot to warn motorists to be cautious while driving along the route.
Transporters using the busy highway say the movement along the route has become flawless with reported minimal hitches. Moses Ndai, a trucker plying the route, said incidences of truckers spending night on the road as a result of jams were long gone.
“We are glad for this. We used to spend nights and days stuck in that stretch but such scenes are no more,” he said.
Nairobi-Mombasa Highway is one of the busiest road in the Northern transport Corridor linking the port of Mombasa to Nairobi city and other busy urban centers in Rift Valley and Western Kenya.
By Wagema Mwangi