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10 Most Expensive Roads in Kenya And Their Contractors

By Prudence Minayo

The infrastructure development in Kenya has experienced tremendous growth since the Jubilee administration led by President Uhuru Kenyatta took power. Various publications have described Kenya as a construction site thanks to the many with new roads being constructed or under rehabilitation. 

Most of these roads have been funded by (and constructed by) the Chinese. We take a look at the 10 most expensive roads in Kenya including one that was built during the reign of former President Mwai Kibaki. 

Nairobi Expressway/JKIA–Westlands Highway

Contractor- China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC)

The 27km road is being constructed at a cost of kes2.7 billion per Kilometre bringing the total cost of the road to kes73.5 billion, making it the most expensive road in Kenya. The Nairobi Expressway-also known as JKIA-Westlands Highway- is being constructed by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC). Those using the road will be required to pay a toll fee and it will be managed by the Chinese company for 30 years. 

Nairobi Mau Summit Highway 

Contractor-Vinci Highways SAS, Meridian Infrastructure African Fund  and Vinci Concessions SAS

The construction of the road was scheduled to begin in September 2021 at a cost of kes160 billion. The contract for the 233km road was  awarded to a French Consortium made up of Vinci Highways SAS, Meridian Infrastructure African Fund  and Vinci Concessions SAS. 

The consortium is responsible for designing, constructing, financing, operating and maintaining the express. 

The project will involve widening of the existing Rironi- Mai Mahiu- Naivasha road to become a Seven-meter carriageway with 2 meter soldiers on both sides. The company constructing the road is expected to recoup its finances in a period of thirty years through the electronic toll system. 

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The South Sudan Link Road Project 

The project is being undertaken by Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA)

The project began in 2016 after Kenya signed a deal with the World Bank to fund the laying of fiber optics cable and the construction of a super highway connecting Kenya and South Sudan. The project  cost Ksh 38 billion. The road is expected to boost the economic potential of the region by enhancing cross-border trade. It is also expected to ease exploration of petroleum deposits in Turkana. The 601km road was 65% complete by November 2020. 

Mombasa Dongo Kundu Bypass 

Contractor-China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation

The road was reported to cost Sh2.7 billion per kilometer with the entire phase one costing a total of Kes39 billion. The road has two major sea bridges spanning a total of 2.1 kilometers, which its builders say were the biggest drivers of the high cost. It was designed to ease congestion at the Likoni ferry. 

Kenol Marua Dual Carriageway

Contractor-Jiangxi Engineering Group

The project is set to be opened before the end of 2021. The cost of the project is kes14 billion and  is set to connect the Northern corridor from Nairobi to the Lapsset Corridor in Isiolo. African Development Bank (AfDB) financed the project which is expected to link Kenya to Ethiopia. 

The road is 84km and starts from Kenol Township in Murang’a through Makutano and Sagana in Kirinyaga, proceeds to Kambiti in Machakos, and ends at Marua in Nyeri town. 

Western Bypass

Contractor-China Road and Bridge Corporation 

The Western Bypass reportedly cost ksh 965.9million per Kilometer, bringing the total cost to kes17 billion. The road that runs between Ruaka to Gitaru was designed to have four lanes and service roads on each side as well as four interchanges at Wangige, Kihara, Ndenderu, and Ruaka. 

The road is being funded by China Exim Bank. 

Thika SuperHighway 

Contractor: China Wu Yi Company, Sinohydro Corporation and Sheng Li Engineering Construction

The $360 million project saw the construction of a modern superhighway, the first of its kind in the country. The superhighway has eight lanes starting in Nairobi and running to the outskirts of Thika. It was inaugurated by former president of Kenya Mwai Kibaki. 

The superhighway connects Nairobi to Marsabit, Isiolo, Moyale and Mandera. 

The road was funded by The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the government of Kenya at a tune of $260 billion. The EximBank of China contributed a further US $100 million in upgrades between Kenyatta University and Thika.

Southern Bypass 

China Road and Bridge Corporation constructed the four lane dual Carriageway at a cost of 18 billion Kenyan Shillings. It was funded by both the government of Kenya and Export Import Bank of China. It was commissioned by president Uhuru Kenyatta and his guest, the late Tanzania president John Pombe Magufuli.

The road was intended to relieve congestion in Nairobi CBD through diverting long distance traffic from and to Mombasa, destined for Western Kenya and Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and DRC.

Kibwezi-Kitui-Migwani Road

The 192 km road cost Ksh 18 billion. It is fully funded by Kenyan taxpayers and the Chinese EXIM Bank. The road is set to provide a direct link between Mombasa and Ethiopia through Isiolo and Moyale. Its purpose is to ease congestion along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway and open up Ukambani for development. 

James Gichuru Road

The project began in August 2017 and was to be completed in a period of 36 months at a cost of US $163 million. The road is 26km.