Kenya’s first double-decker highway to cost you Ksh.155 per day


Kenya’s first double-decker highway to cost you Ksh.155 per day
An artist's impression of the JKIA-James Gichuru express way whose completion is set for December 2021

In Summary

  • The cost to motorists will make for one of Kenya’s most expensive highways to date for the stretch of tarmac stretching 27.2 kilometers in total.
  • The charges levied on motorists make for the return of the long-forgotten toll system which serves to shoulder infrastructure costs borne by the State.
  • The costs borne by motorists will generally cover saloon cars which mainly compose of traffic along the stretch to the rate of 80 percent.

Motorists plying through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)– James Gichuru express way will be required to pay an average of Ksh.155 in toll fees upon the completion of the project in December 2021.

The cost to motorists will make for one of Kenya’s most expensive highways to date for the 27.2 kilometers stretch of tarmac.

In a prospectus presented to stakeholders on Wednesday, the Ministry of Transport has revised the cost of the freeway to Ksh.62.2 billion ($599 million) from Ksh.52.9 billion ($509.2 million) having incorporated an additional scope of works.

Constructed via a private public partnership (PPP) between the government of Kenya and the China Road and Bridge Cooperation (CRBC), the highway will begin from the Mlolongo township and ends at the James Gichuru junction in Westlands.

The first phase of the project will involve the construction of four lanes at ground level from Mlolongo to the Eastern Bypass junction (City-Cabanas) and covers 10 kilometers in total.

The second stretch of tarmac will meanwhile incorporate six lanes at ground level to the Southern-Bypass Interchange (Ole-Sereni) extending the highway by a further five kilometers.

The CRBC will additionally put up four lanes of elevated road through the City-Center and along Uhuru Highway to the James Gichuru junction to cover the last 11.2 kilometer stretch.

A total of 10 electronic toll plazas will be set up along the stretch of the highway besides the 10 entry and exit points to the express way.

The charges levied on motorists make for the return of the long-forgotten toll system which serves to shoulder infrastructure costs borne by the State.

Surprisingly, Kenyans appear to be content with paying for the use of road going by a study conducted by the CRBC in conjunction with the Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA).

According to the study, 61 percent of surveyed respondents are content with the tolling system with only 39 percent of individuals standing firm against the move.

Even so, the majority of Kenyans find comfort in daily costs sitting at Ksh.50 and below with a minority one percent open to charges above Ksh.1000.

The costs borne by motorists will generally cover saloon cars which mainly compose of traffic along the stretch to the rate of 80 percent.

The Government of Kenya (GOK) is expected to shoulder 25 percent of costs with the Chinese government providing for the majority chunk of capital expenditure.

Motorists will bear the cost of Ksh.46.7 billion in principal repayments to the Chinese over the 30 year concession period on the project which carries a three year grace period on repayments.

Revenues generated from toll collections are expected to rise to Ksh.10.6 billion ($102.1 million) in 2049 from Ksh.2.1 billion in 2023.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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