Once construction of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)- James Gichuru expressway is completed in December 2021, motorists plying the route will have to part with Ksh155 as per the government’s agreement with the contractor.
The 27.2-kilometre road which ranks up there with Kenya’s most expensive infrastructure projects is being constructed by the China Road & Bridge Corporation (CRBC).
On Wednesday, Citizen Digital reported The Ministry of Transport revised the total cost of the project to Ksh62.2 billion down from the initial projection of Ksh52.9 billion after factoring in an additional set of works.
Construction of the first phase of the road (10 km) will begin in Mlolongo and will end up at the Eastern Bypass – City Cabanas.
The second stretch of the road which will incorporate six lanes at ground level to the Southern-Bypass Interchange (Ole-Sereni) extending the highway by a further five kilometres.
The Chinese Company will put up an additional four lanes of the elevated road through the City-Centre and along Uhuru Highway to the James Gichuru junction to cover the last 11.2 kilometre stretch.
CRBC will also put up a total of 10 toll stations along the stretch in addition to the 10 entry and exit points to the expressway.
This will mark the country’s return to the toll system after a long exile with the proceeds expected to service the loan owed to the firm.
A study conducted by the CRBC in conjunction with the Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA) shows that most Kenyans are willing to pay to use the road.
CRBC’s and The Ministry of Transport’s survey shows that 61% of Kenyans are happy with the arrangement while 39% dissented.
It is projected that saloon cars which constitute 80% of all cars that use that route will cover a large percentage of the costs.
The Kenyan government is expected to shoulder 25 per cent of costs with the Chinese government providing for the majority chunk of capital expenditure.
Motorists will bear the cost of Ksh.46.7 billion in principal repayments to the Chinese over the 30 year concession period which carries a three year grace period on repayments. Revenue generated from toll collections are expected to rise to Ksh10.6 billion in 2049 from Ksh.2.1 billion in 2023.