The Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit highway forms part of the Northern Corridor, – the main transport route that connect the East and Central African Countries to the port of Mombasa, through Nairobi.
When using this highway, the major challenge will always be the ever-increasing traffic that prolong the travel times and worsen road safety.
On 30th September 2020, KeNHA signed a contract with a French consortium, for the construction of the 233-kilometre highway–with an aim to improve the quality and safety on the road.
The project entails the expansion of the existing 175-kilometre Rironi–Nakuru–Mau Summit road into a four-lane dual carriageway and re-carpeting the 58-kilometre Rironi–Mai Mahiu– Naivasha Road (Escarpment Road).
In a statement published by Nation, the transport cabinet secretary, James Macharia announced that the construction of the highway is expected to begin in September this year.
The Kenya Engineer previously reported that the contract that was awarded to the French consortium – made up of Vinci Highways SAS, Meridian Infrastructure Africa Fund, and Vinci Concessions SAS, would see that the road is expanded through a Public-Private Partnership scheme.
The French consortium would design, finance, construct, operate and maintain the expressway for 30 years then recoup its finances from the revenues that will be collected by an electronic toll collection system along the road, once complete.
A four-kilometre elevated highway is to be constructed through Nakuru town, and the interchanges along the highway improved.
The Implementation of the Project was set to begin in December 2019 but the plans were delayed after four firms contested the decision by KeNHA to award the tender to Rift Valley Connect consortium.
KeNHA had however picked the consortium as the preferred bidder for the project after they submitted the lowest bid at Sh159.5 billion.
Upon completion, the highway will significantly reduce the travel time between Nairobi and Mau Summit and the traffic snarl-up experienced on the road. The road will also improve transport connections between the eastern and Western parts of Kenya and the neighbouring countries.