Kenya unveils major roads projects

Kenya unveils major roads projects

The Government has unveiled five key road projects to be constructed and maintained through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Model.

Infrastructure Principal Secretary Eng. John Mosonik says the government has planned the dualing and upgrade of the Nairobi-Mombasa Road, Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit Road as well as a 2nd bridge in Nyali in a bid to ease congestion in the Coastal City of Mombasa.

The implementation of the projects under PPP model means the projects will be undertaken by the private sector who will recover their investment in the course of the life of the projects.

Other projects to be executed through this innovative private capital initiative includes the Operation and Maintenance of the Nairobi-Thika Road, which was constructed in 2013, and the Operation and Maintenance of Nairobi Southern Bypass whose construction has just been completed.

“We have deliberately decided to focus on major highways and trade routes in a bid to improve transport infrastructure and reduce costs of business in the country and the region at large” said Eng. Mosonik.

Currently transport cost accounts for around 30% of the cost of goods and services across the region due to poor infrastructure and the thousands of man-hours lost in traffic on a daily basis.

‘These projects will not only greatly cut down costs for motorists in terms of fuel savings, lost man hours and car maintenance costs, but will also be expected to greatly spur economic activity along the corridors they pass, in a similar fashion to what Nairobi-Thika Road has done”  added the PS.

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) will contract the four road projects, while, Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) will execute the 2nd Nyali Bridge Project.

KeNHA Director General Eng. Peter Mundinia noted the concept of operating roads in Kenya is relatively new and necessary, as it will greatly improve motoring experience along the earmarked projects.

“With an operation and maintenance concession, we will require the private partners to undertake continuous maintenance of the roads throughout the life of the contract life” said Eng. Mundinia. “There will be specified durations of time within which to fix a pothole, a damaged rail guard, fix broken streetlights, with obstructions expected to be cleared speedily and emergency and evacuation services be on standby. This will be quite an experience for most motorists in the country.”

On his part, KURA Director General Eng. Silas Kinoti observed that the current Nyali Bridge in Mombasa is heavily congested pushing back traffic snarl-ups to the coastal city itself.

“Residents of Mombasa, both on the Island and the Northern Mainland, are greatly inconvenienced by choking congestion normally experienced on the current bridge. We are determined to change this as Mombasa is a vibrant tourism and commercial hub, which should feature modern infrastructure and high levels of transport efficiency for the benefit of her residents,” Eng, Kinoti  remarked.

The PPP model is expected to enable the country to undertake more infrastructure projects than can be currently achieved through the public resources alone. The Private Public Partnership Unit, a department under Treasury, will oversee the financing of the roads and bridge project.

“PPP Road projects will enable faster modernization of our roads, translating to quality and better maintained roads. They enable the government mobilize more resources for speedy and sustainable growth and implement private sector efficiencies,” said the Public Private Partnership Unit Director Eng. Stanley Kamau.

To kick start the procurement of these projects The Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development and the National Treasury has planned an investor conference in mid-November.

The conference will brief potential investors on the five projects with invitations to participate through the Requests for Qualification (RFQ) planned to be released this November.

The government has retained International Transaction Advisors to study and advise on the projects and support them until financial close. A consortium led by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is advising on Nairobi-Mombasa Road; International Technocrats and Consultants and Partners are advising on the Nairobi-Thika Road and the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit project; while a consortium led by CPCS is advising on the Nairobi-Southern Bypass. Deloitte and partners are the Transaction Advisor for the 2nd Nyali Bridge Project.

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