Ministry of Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has once again reiterated that the JKIA-Westlands Expressway will be completed by end of 2021.
If realized, this will be way ahead of the initial estimated time which stated that the expressway would be completed and ready for use by end of 2022.
The project being done by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) linking the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to Nairobi-Nakuru highway is already up running with visible milestone
CS Macharia during the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee (NDICC) Projects assessment by Cabinet Secretaries said that the project which was to be initially completed in December 2022 will be ready a year earlier, December 2021.
“The contractor has reduced the completion time and we are excited. This will be a game changer once complete,” said the CS today while flanked by his colleagues.
According to Mr Macharia, the Nairobi Expressway project is a very critical piece of infrastructure because it is one of a kind in East and Central Africa and will act as a link between east of the country and the west.
The CS further noted the project is more than just our transport system but overall infrastructural development hence the partnership with Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and the railway system.
“This project has benefited more than 2,000 Kenyans in skilled and unskilled employment opportunities” said the CS.
The CS further added that the expressway is expected to ease traffic flow on the Mlolongo-James Gichuru A8 section and to eventually reduce travel time through Nairobi.
Present in the assessment tour was Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa who lauded the project, reiterating his Colleague Macharia’s sentiment that it will indeed be a gamechanger once complete.
He specifically noted the expected completion time which he said was commendable and once it is ready for use, will make Nairobi more attractive to tourists and investors.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala saw the expressway as a venue for attracting more tourists in the country, asserting that we need proper infrastructure so as to move forward with the rest of the world.
Balala stated that this project is a key Big Four Agenda of the Jubilee administration, downplaying naysayers who have rubbished the agendas, insisting that without infrastructure there is no airport.
The CSs also visited Kibra water projects, Ngong River Clean up as well as Kianda sanitation facility and promised to facilitatedNair the groups with what is required for their use to ensure that there is adequate water and proper facilities in the area.
A section of the road from Mlolongo all the way to NextGen Mall, a distance of 18.2 kilometres and which is ongoing, will be a flatbed road, while the section from Nextgen Mall through the City-Centre to St Marks church, covering 8.2 kilometres, will be elevated.
Motorists who would opt to use the Shs 65 billion expressway will have to part with between Shs 200 to Shs 300 in toll fees depending with the type of the vehicles.
Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) had intimated that the Chinese Company will be granted a concession to build, operate and transfer the project for 30 years that includes a construction period of three years and thereafter an operation and maintenance period of 27 years.
The Nairobi Expressway involves a four-lane and six-lane dual carriageway within the existing median of Mombasa Road/Uhuru Highway/Waiyaki Way and 10 interchanges.
by Alice Gworo