A double-decker road linking Kenya’s main airport to its major highway in the capital Nairobi will begin September this year. The construction of Nairobi’s Sh50 billion first double-decker road linking Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to the Nairobi-Nakuru highway is set to start in September this year. It is expected that upon completion the double-decker road will significantly ease traffic jam witnessed at Mombasa highway, the only road connecting the airport and the Central Business District. Construction of the road project will be carried out by China Road and Bridge Corporation.
Motorists will have the choice of using the express way to escape the heavy traffic jams at a fee or toll charges to help the private firm building the road recover its investments.
But those using the lower section of the double-decker highway will be spared the toll charges.
The bus rapid transit (BRT) system is one of the special features of the planned highway, which will include construction of a dedicated lane for large-capacity buses to ease overcrowding.
The project has delayed for nearly a decade. The first construction attempt collapsed when the World Bank questioned its suitability and cut financing. The proposed elevated dual carriageway is to be built in three phases.
In the year 2008, the Parliament approved the construction of a 77-kilometre double-decker road in Nairobi under a 30-year build-operate-transfer deal that allows private firms to invest in a public project and operate it for an agreed period to recoup their investment and profit before handing it over to the State.
The World Bank, in a recent report, said Nairobi residents on average spend an hour to travel to work and another 60 minutes commuting back home due to traffic congestion on the city’s roads. And it is estimated that Nairobi traffic jams cost Sh50 million in lost productivity a day.
Kenya hopes that the road that will allow vehicles to move with high speed uninterrupted will boost transport of goods and services a move expected to spur economic growth.