Kenya will have a six lane super highway from Mombasa to Nairobi by the year 2022; this according to the Transport and Infrastructure Secretary James Macharia who said that the road will be the road built under a public private partnership.
This is good news to business operators in East Africa who are currently incurring high logistic costs due to heavy traffic snarl-up on the road that transports commodities from the port of Mombasa to land locked countries like Uganda and Rwanda.
More than 90 per cent of goods landing at Mombasa port are moved by road and the rest by railway, underlining the pressure on the highway as the traffic through the port continues to grow every year.
The road has remained a single-carriageway despite an increase in the number of private cars and buses and trucks transporting cargo to and from the Mombasa port.
‘’My ministry will soon make public the framework for the partnership that is expected to begin in the next couple of months with the invitation of bids for the project,’’ said the CS
He added that the road would begin with a 12- lane highway on Mombasa Island before narrowing into a six-lane highway to Nairobi.
The construction of this 485 kilometer road is expected to supplement the standard gauge railway which is scheduled to be completed by December 2017.
The SGR project is expected to reduce rail transport costs from $0.20 to $0.08 per ton per kilometre.
According to Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority (NCTTCA) report on the status of rail network in the region, rehabilitation currently undertaken will see Kenya Railways Corporation and its Ugandan counterpart handle their maximum cargo capacities of 7 and 5 million tonnes per annum respectively.
Currently, both corporations are only handling a mere third of their capacities.