– With less than two years left to the end of his final term, Uhuru is overseeing fast-tracked construction of roads
– He has been making unannounced inspection tours to ensure projects countrywide are completed as scheduled
– In northeastern Kenya, the government is constructing a highway that will traverse five counties
– The KSh 91 billion Isiolo-Mandera Highway will be the most expensive in the country’s history
Construction of roads has emerged as a key cog of the legacy President Uhuru Kenyatta plans to leave when his term ends in 2022.
Since he assumed power in 2013, Kenyatta has prioritised the construction of major inter-city highways, urban and rural roads as part of government efforts to enhance connectivity, reduce travel times and open up hitherto closed regions for more investment in a bid to alleviate poverty and unemployment.
A key pointer to the premium the government places on road infrastructure is the huge chunk of the budget that the National Treasury continues to allocate to road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance.
And with less than two years left to the end of his final term, Kenyatta is personally overseeing the fast-tracked construction of roads, making unannounced inspection tours to ensure they are completed as scheduled.
The projects are spread across the country, with hitherto marginalised regions such as the upper eastern, upper western and parts of the coast now boasting of modern roads and highways thanks to targeted investment.
Nairobi, which has for many years suffered from traffic gridlocks, has massively benefited from road projects, some of which are already complete while others are ongoing.
Ongoing projects include the 27.1 km Nairobi Expressway, a toll highway that begins at Mlolongo and passes JKIA, Nairobi’s CBD before ending at Westlands along Waiyaki Way.
The project, whose construction was commissioned by President Kenyatta last year, has the primary objective of decongesting Nairobi by providing faster, reliable, and less costly transport. It is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
Then there is the KSh 17.3 billion Nairobi Western Bypass, which will connect Kikuyu to Ruaka in Kiambu, where it will join the Nairobi Northern Bypass. The 16.78 km China Exim Bank-funded project is the fourth and final ring road in Nairobi; the others are the northern, eastern and southern bypasses.
Once completed in 2022, it will further help decongest Nairobi as fewer cars would enter the central business district.
North eastern region, which Kenyatta has visited more times than any other President since independence, has benefitted from mega road projects that have served to open up the area, laying the ground for exploitation of its immense but hitherto untapped economic potential while improving the welfare of the people.
They include the KSh 42 billion Isiolo-Moyale road, which reduced travel time to Nairobi from Wajir, Mandera and Garissa from three days in dry weather to between six and 12 hours depending on your destination.
There is also the KSh 2.5 billion Elwak-Rhamu road in Mandera county. The government is also planning to construct the Isiolo-Mandera Highway, which traverses five counties of Isiolo, Meru, Wajir, Garissa and Mandera at a cost of KSh 91 billion.
It will be the single largest project in northern Kenya and the most expensive in the country’s history.
The project recently received a major boost after the World Bank agreed to finance, among others, the upgrading of 365 kilometres of the 750km Isiolo-Mandera Regional Road Corridor and 30km of spur roads, while the upgrading of the remaining sections will be financed by other development partners at a cost of KSh 81 billion.
At the Coast, megaprojects include the KSh 22 billion six-lane Mombasa-Mariakani Road, the KSh 10.8 billion Garsen–Witu–Lamu Highway and the Kinna-Garba Tulla road that connects Isiolo with Garissa.
There is also the 18km Dongo-Kundu Bypass Highway, which connects Mombasa West Mainland with Mombasa South mainland.
The highway forms part of a three-phase plan to decongest Mombasa and open up the south coast for business and tourism.
The KSh 2.7 billion Changamwe-Magongo road, which is complete, has provided a key link between the city and Moi International Airport.
Last week, Kenyatta inspected the KSh 4.2 billion Malindi-Sala Gate Road that is under construction in Kilifi County.
Another flagship project in the area is the KSh 4.2 billion Malindi-Sala Gate highway, which is nearing completion.
Other projects at the Coast include the KSh 11 billion Miritini-Mwache-Kipevu road, the KSh 6.1 billion Mombasa-Kwa Jomvu road and the KSh 2.7 billion Port Reitz/Moi International Airport road.
In Rift Valley, projects completed by KeNHA since 2013 include Sotik-Ndanai-Gorgor, Londiani-Fort Tenan, Timboroa-Eldoret, Kericho-Mau Summit, Kericho-Nyamasaria and Chepterit-Kimondi.
Key ongoing projects in the region include the Eldoret Southern Bypass, Loichangamatak-Lodwar (A1), Lodwar-Lokitaung Junction (A1), Cheptiret-Kesses-Lessos and Cheptiret-Moi University among others.
The KSh 6 billion Eldoret Southern Bypass will be a game-changer as it has already led to a property boom along its route, an indication that it will help attract more investment to the region.
It will go a long way in easing traffic jams in Eldoret’s central business district that connects the North Rift to neighbouring countries such as Uganda, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
In Central Kenya, the dualing of the KSh 33 billion Kenol-Sagan-Marua road is expected to be completed before 2022.
The road will connect the Northern Corridor from Thika with the ongoing LAPPSET project and open northern parts of the country, also providing central Kenya residents with easy access to markets in various regions.
Another signature project is the 540-kilometre KSh 40 billion Mau Mau Road, which will cut across Aberdare forests from Gatanga constituency to Njambini in Nyandarua. It will shorten the route to Naivasha from Murang’a and Nyeri counties, thus linking Central Kenya with Rift Valley.
The project has been divided into four parts and awarded to different contractors to ensure the construction takes two and a half years.
Other road projects in Central include the KSh 11 billion Kiambu – Ngewa –Kibichoi (B30) Road, the KSh 2.8 billion Ruaka-Banana-Thogoto-Gikambura-Mutarakwa-Limuru road and the Upland-Githunguri-Ruiru road.
In Eastern Kenya, the government is tarmacking the Kibwezi-Mutomo-Kitui-Mwingi road at a cost of KSh 18.4 billion.
The 192-km Class B7 road forms part of the Mombasa-Isiolo-Adis Ababa Transport Corridor. Also under construction is the Athi River-Machakos Turnoff Phase I and the Kibwezi-Kitui-Migwani road.
In Meru, the Jubilee government late last year completed construction of the 103km Ena-Ishiara-Chiakariga-Mituguu-Meru road, ending a 20-year wait by the residents of Meru, Embu and Tharaka Nithi counties.
Completion of the artery, which is also known as Mati Road, reduced costs and travel time to and from Nairobi compared to when one is using the meandering Meru-Embu-Nairobi highway.
There are plans to construct a dual carriage road cutting across Meru town, which will ease the movement of people and goods.
In western region, major projects that have been completed include the KSh 4.5 billion rehabilitation of the Kisumu-Kakamega road, the KSh 2.5 billion Kakamega-Webuye road, the KSh 3.3 billion Webuye-Kitale road and the KSh 1 billion Gisambai-Shamakhokho road. Others are Ejinja – Bumala and Kimilili – Misikhu roads.
In Nyanza, major projects include the KSh 9.4 billion Isebania-Kisii-Ahero road, which passes through Migori, Homa Bay, Nyamira, Kisii and Kisumu counties.
Its construction is part of the efforts to facilitate inter-regional movement of passengers and goods.
Last month, National Treasury CS Ukur Yattani released KSh 4.5 billion for the rehabilitation of the Kisumu-Chemelil-Muhoroni (Mamboleo-Kisumu) road.
The road, which has been neglected for over 20 years, cuts across Chemelil, Miwani and Kibos to join the Kisumu–Kakamega road at the Mamboleo junction, traversing three major sugar millers.
Others include here is the KSh 1.7 billion Kamagambo-Nyasembe-Mogonga road, Siaya-Ruambwa, Chebilat-Ikonge-Chabera, Masara-Suna-Kehancha, Awendo-Mariwa and the Daraja Mbili-Nyatieko-Eronge-Kegogi-Miruka road.
Do you have a groundbreaking story you would like us to publish? Please reach us through email@example.com or WhatsApp: 0732482690. Contact Tuko.co.ke instantly.
My car broke my family – Kenneth Saota | Tuko TV.[embedded content]