Expressway sets Kenya’s path to Special Economic Zones

The proposed high-speed expressway linking Mombasa to Nairobi will include the development of a Master Plan for three (3) Special Economic Zones (SEZs), a huge step towards a concept the country has harboured for several years. The new zones will be focused in coordination with the new Standard Gauge Railway ( SGR) that started operations this year

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) is set to roll out the construction of the 473 Kilometers Nairobi — Mombasa (A8) Expressway following the formal signing of the Commercial Agreement with Messrs. Bechtel International Inc. of San-Francisco, USA (Bechtel), a global leader in designing and constructing motorways that was signed in early August this year.

“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 from the ECAs for the construction of the expressway,” Eng Peter Mundinia, KENHA director general said.

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 the 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 new 473 Kilometer 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 Kilometres per hour and will reduce the journey time from over 10 hours to approximately four (4) 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,” Mundinia said.

According to KENHA, 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.