By Ephie Njega
KENYA SHILLING ONE BILLION PER KM IS THE NEW STANDARD COST FOR HIGHWAYS IN KENYA
Kenyans are complaining that the proposed Mombasa-Nairobi expressway will cost KShs 1 billion per km. We have very short memory.
The 16.5km Western bypass in Nairobi connecting Kikuyu and Ruaka is being constructed at a cost of KShs 17.3 Billion. We complained about this and nothing happened. The contractor is on the ground mobilising. The bypass is just four lanes with a design speed of 100km/hr.
A Chinese firm has also won tender for the dualling of the 31km Ruaka-Ruiru northern bypass at a cost estimated at between KShs 30 – 40 Billion as per Infrastructure CS James Macharia.
Interestingly the 70km Eastern and Northern Bypasses had a budget of KShs 8.5 Billion when they were first constructed less than ten years ago. Is the proposed dualling equal to construction of a new road or additional lanes?
The recently constructed first phase of the 11km Dongo Kundu Bypass in Mombasa cost KShs 11 Billion. Nobody even knows what the 13km Outering Road in Nairobi cost.
For those who talk about land compensation contributing to high costs, that is a separate cost since contractors do not compensate land owners.
If the six lane Mombasa-Nairobi Expressway is costing KShs 380 Billion for 466km then it might even be cheaper at KShs 815 million per km. Its design speed is 120 km/hr.