The expansion of 84-km Kenol-Sagana-Marua road that passes through central Kenya will be completed next year, according to a government official.
James Macharia, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, said that dualling of the four-lane highway will be completed to enhance mobility in the strategic transport corridor.
“We are very confident that this road will be completed ahead of time. It was supposed to be finished by 2023 but everything will be finished next year,” Macharia said during an inspection tour of the highway on Friday.
The Kenol-Sagana-Marua highway improvement project, carried out in two phases by two Chinese firms Jiangxi Transportation Engineering Group and China Wu Yi Co., Ltd., aims to link the Kenyan capital Nairobi to agriculturally rich central parts of the country to Moyale town which neighbors Ethiopia.
It involves dualling of the 84 km highway with grade separated junctions, road safety interventions and social and ecological projects that include training of unemployed youth and tree planting.
The 14.6 billion shillings project (about 135.4 million U.S. dollars) that has been partially financed by African Development Bank is expected to boost regional integration through seamless movement of cargo and skilled manpower.
Macharia said expansion of the highway will ease traffic congestion, reduce carbon emissions and improve Kenya’s status as a transport and logistics hub.
He said the dual carriageway will spur growth in central Kenya besides linking the country to a strategic transport artery covering landlocked Ethiopia and South Sudan.
“This road is critical in many aspects, it passes through a region that is rich in agriculture and it is the link between northern corridor, coming all the way from Nairobi to Isiolo and the Lamu Port South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor,” said Macharia.
He said one side of the road will be completed in December to ease movement of bulk and passengers.