Nairobi Expressway road 5 Key Facts you should know. The fifth one is interesting!!

1.     Background information about the expressway:

Nairobi Expressway Road financial model is a public-private partnership (PPP) Kenyan and the Chinese government entered into a contractual agreement to construct the Nairobi Expressway Road from the Mlolongo area and the airport all the way to Westland’s to ease traffic jams on the busy corridor to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

The project broke ground in October 2020 with China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) as the main contractor. The latter is responsible for designing, funding, and constructing the road through a public-private partnership (PPP) framework. CRBC will be responsible for operating the Nairobi Expressway for about 27 years to earn back its investment with revenue from tolls.

It is a four-lane wide, 27-kilometer, has-prestressed girders, several t-columns, and has grade separated alignment to allow for a two-level carriage-way for motorists.

Nairobi Expressway
Nairobi Expressway

2.     Economic importance of the highway.

Nairobi is one of the fastest growing towns in Africa with a total population of about 4 million residents. These persons have to access the Central business district of the city and its suburbs and with a transport system that is struggling-a poor railway network, no subways, cable cars.

Kenyans are estimated to be losing about 1 billion USD per year due to traffic jams in Nairobi. This is such a huge loss and lost opportunities in terms of boosting the Kenyan GDP. The Nairobi-Expressway is feted to reduce the t

The expressway is part of the northern corridor that provides passage to 85% of the cargo destined for neighboring landlocked countries, such as Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

3.     Environmental requirements

The contractor is planting new trees and flowers along the expressway in a bid to restore the flora that was basically destroyed to create room for road construction. The vegetation being planted is mostly flowers and wall creepers using a modern agricultural process known as aquaponic vertical farming. The Chinese are estimated to have cleared about 3000-4000 vegetation species and are therefore required to replace the same according to National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)

4.     The Maintenance schedule of the road

Usually, the design life of most roads is 20 years. During this period, the road requires routine maintenance to keep it in good condition and reduce its deterioration rate in terms of wear and tear. Maintenance activities normally include desilting of debris deposited by run-off water during the rainy season, replacement of vandalized road furniture like guardrails, security lights, traffic lights, road markings, planted flora etcetera.   

5.     The cost of the Nairobi-Expressway project and mode of payment to settle the loan.

Most of public Civil Engineering projects cost billions and can only be financed by the government. The Republic of Kenya during the last 10 years has heavily depended on foreign loans from developed Nations like the USA, China and Germany etcetera. The project cost of the Nairobi expressway is about KES 70 billion but the Kenyan taxpayer will be required to raise 350 billion towards repaying this loan for a period of 27years!

There are several contractual arrangements that can be used to finance these projects like Public Private Partnership (PPP), Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC), and Built Operate and Transfer (BOT). The Chinese and the Kenyan government agreed on the BOT type of contract for the construction of the Nairobi Expressway.

The Chinese have built toll stations along with the profile of the road where road users will be required to pay a road usage fee. It is estimated that each driver would be required to pay a fee of between 100ksh and 1,550ksh (about US$1 and US$15), depending on the size of the car and the distance travelled. This amount will be collected for a certain agreed period of time for the Chinese government to recover its loan after which the road management will be transferred to the Kenyan government.





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