KENYA – The much-awaited construction of a toll highway from Nairobi to Mau Summit is set to begin in October next year following the signing of a deal between the Government of Kenya and French firm Vinci.
According to a statement from Vinci, the financial close and commence of the project will start next year after the completion of an environmental and social impact study.
The project, which is scheduled to last 42 months will transform the existing trunk road into a 175-kilometer dual two-lane motorway at a cost of about US$1.52 billion.
Through an availability payment based Public Private Partnership, Rift Valley Highway (a company owned by VINCI Highways (Lead Member), VINCI Concessions, and Meridiam SAS) will finance, design, widen, upgrade, operate and maintain this road corridor for 30 years.
VINCI Highways, subsidiary of VINCI Concessions, said that it will capitalize on its technical and operational expertise to implement new traffic management patterns.
The company also noted that it will deploy advanced equipment and maintenance plans and provide local employees with training programs.
Transport and Infrastructure Secretary James Macharia had earlier said the government would prioritise the project, as well as the JKIA-Westlands Expressway, to gauge their successes before embarking on other similar projects countrywide.
The two projects, which will be completed at a combined cost of Sh222 billion (US$ 2.05 billion), will be undertaken on a Public Private Partnership deal in which a company builds a highway, operates it for some years to recoup its investment before handing over the road to the State.
The contractor will also be expected to operate and maintain the Southern Bypass, as well as maintain the Gitaru to Rironi segment, whose upgrade is ongoing under the James Gichuru-Rironi Road Project.