Bechtel signs contract for 473 km Nairobi to Mombasa Expressway in Kenya
The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) is set to roll out the construction of the 473 Kilometres Nairobi to Mombasa (A8) Expressway following the formal signing of the Commercial Agreement with Bechtel Kenya, a global leader in designing and constructing motorways. The project will be supported with financing from Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) in the United States of America.
The signing of this Agreement is set to open the next steps of mobilizing funds form the ECAs for the construction of the expressway.
Bechtel has been selected to build the first high-speed expressway in Kenya. The new 473 Kilometre route will vastly improve the connectivity, efficiency and safety of road transport between Nairobi and the country’s main seaport of Mombasa.
The expressway is a motorway with controlled access designed for consistent speeds of 120 Kph and will reduce the journey time from over 10 hours to approximately four hours. It 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 DRC Congo.
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, with a provision for future increase to six lanes and 19 interchanges. The expressway is set to become a toll road and will provide a faster transit to support growth and industry. 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 the development of a Master Plan for three Special Economic Zones (SEZs) along the alignment, and will be focused on developing business in coordination with the new standard gauge railway.
This expressway will enable Kenya to competitively develop and expand internal and regional trade. More than 90 percent of goods landing at Mombasa Port are currently transported via road and this infrastructure project will lay the foundation for long-term commercial and industrial growth.
The project has been structured to achieve early completion, under a fast-track delivery model, with concurrent design and construction. The first section, from the Junction with Namanga Road near Kitengela will have an interchange near Konza ICT City and a spur road to Kyumvi (Machakos Turnoff) on Mombasa Road. This first section is targeted to open to traffic in October, 2019.
It is expected that US Export Credit Agencies such as the US Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will provide financing support.
The signing of this Agreement signifies continued confidence of international investors in Kenya and its economic stability. It is projected under the proposed commercial contract that the 473 Km highway will be completed in ten sections within the next six years.