, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29 – Construction of the Nairobi Southern bypass is expected to commence in the next 10 days following the signing of a funding agreement between Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Guangyuan, on Tuesday.
The Preferential Buyer Credit Loan Agreement amounting Sh16.9 billion will cover 85 percent of the Southern bypass construction cost, while the remaining 15 percent will be met by the Kenyan government.
“The credit will be applied for the construction of the planned Nairobi southern bypass road projects with a view to providing Nairobi City with an essential corridor for fast transit traffic, facilitating quick diversion movement of the urban traffic,” the Finance Minister said.
The agreement is awaiting signature by the President of Exim Bank of China that is facilitating the loan to legalise it.
China is one of Kenya’s largest bilateral development partners, giving a cumulative Sh58.9 billion in official development assistance primarily for infrastructure development.
Stretching 28.6 kilometres, the dual carriageway southern bypass will take 36 months to complete.
It will link traffic on Mombasa Road near the Ole Sereni Hotel and run across Langata Road into Kikuyu town to eventually join the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.
The Eastern and Northern bypasses are close to completion, although, acquisition issues at City Cabanas in Embakasi could delay completion of the Eastern corridor to June 2012.
The Eastern bypass connects Mombasa Road to Thika Road at Ruiru while the Northern bypass links Ruiru to Red Hill Road at Ruaka, which then links to Naivasha Road.
Both bypasses were undertaken by the China Road and Bridge Corporation at the cost of Sh8.5 billion.
Kenya is financing 15 percent of the projects (Sh1.2 billion) while the Chinese government is financing the remaining 85 percent (Sh7.3 billion).
Once complete, both corridors will feature construction of interchanges, flyovers, box culverts, and standard pipe culverts.
Other bypasses are expected in Nakuru, Eldoret, Mombasa and commissioning of another in the next two weeks in Kisumu.
The Southern bypass was originally planned as part of the Sh67 billion Nairobi Toll Road Concession Project with the proposed flyover under the World Bank (WB), which withdrew financing citing non-compliance with certain procedures in planning.
However, the Ministry of Roads has since been able to revive talks concerning the flyover with the WB and is expected to go into serious negotiations as early as late February next year.