, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 7 – The construction of a new Nairobi – Mombasa highway is expected to kick off in 2018 after the Kenya National Highways Authority signed an agreement with US-Based construction firm, Bechtel International.
The 473 kilometre express highway will allow uninterrupted speeds of 120 kilometre per hour cutting the travel time from 10 hours to four hours.
KENHA Director General Peter Mundinia has said that the high-speed express way will have four lanes with provision for future expansion.
“The signing of this agreement is set to open the next steps of mobilizing funds from the ECAs (Export Credit Agencies) for the construction of the expressway,” said Mundinia.
The project will be partly financed with the support of US ECAs such as the US Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
KENHA projects the highway will be completed in 10 sections within the next six years and will include the development of a Master Plan of three Special Economic Zones.
Mundinia says the expressway will be one of the most important new pieces of infrastructure in the region connecting Kenya with landlocked Uganda, Rwanda and DRC Congo.
“It will have four lanes, with a provision future increase to six lanes and 19 interchanges. The expressway is set to become a toll road and will provide a faster transit to support growth and industry.”
Though KENHA hasn’t indicated when the highway will be ready for use, the first section – Namanga junction to Konza City will open to traffic in October 2019.