Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has identified Bechtel to design and construct the 473-kilometre Mombasa-Nairobi Expressway. The road, whose construction is set to begin after the signing of a financing deal with US-based firm Bechtel International Inc will be the first of its kind in Kenya.
The route will vastly improve the connectivity, efficiency, and safety of road transport between Nairobi and Kenya’s main sea port, Mombasa, and will reduce the journey time from over 10 hours to less than four hours. The expressway will serve as a central part of Kenya’s national transport system, helping to promote trade and development in Kenya and further into landlocked Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.
“The project will be supported with financing from Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) in the United States of America. The signing of this agreement will be followed by mobilizing of funds from the ECAs for the construction of the expressway,” KeNHA director-general Eng. Peter Mundinia in a statement.
“Bechtel has been working with the Government of Kenya for over two years to develop this strategic infrastructure priority project, which will support unlocking significant growth in Kenya and the region,” said Craig Albert, president of Bechtel’s global infrastructure business. “We will bring global mega-project capability and local commitment to deliver the Nairobi-Mombasa expressway to our high standards of quality, safety, and sustainability. We’ll create infrastructure and skills legacies by partnering with local companies, suppliers, and directly employing and training Kenyans.”
The high-speed expressway will be one of the most important new pieces of infrastructure in the East African Community. It will have four lanes and 19 interchanges. As part of the delivery of the project, Bechtel will employ over 4,000 people and provide training and capacity building. The project will also include master planning for three special economic zones along the alignment and will be focused on developing business in coordination with the new SGR and local communities.
The project has been structured to achieve early completion, under a fast-track delivery model, with concurrent design and construction, and with the first section, from Mombasa Road – Kyumvi to ICT Konza, targeted to open in 2019.The roads agency projects that the expressway will be completed in ten sections over the next six years, with design and construction being undertaken concurrently all through.
The construction will start 2018. US and UK export credit agencies such as the US Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and UK Export Finance, is expected to provide financing support. Once complete, the Sh230 billion roads will be among key highways motorists are expected to pay a toll charge for in order to help recoup construction costs and support maintenance.

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