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Eastern bypass set for dualling from December

The Ministry of Transport is in talks with Chinese contractors to undertake the dualling of the busy Eastern Bypass, which stretches from Mombasa Road to the Thika Superhighway.

Transport and Infrastructure secretary James Macharia in an interview on Monday said his ministry is already processing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to be shared with the shortlisted contractors by December.

The multi-billion-shilling project is aimed at easing the growing traffic jam on the key road that links motorists from the busy Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Mombasa-Nairobi highway to Thika Superhighway, bypassing the congested central business district.

The road, part of the Vision 2030 infrastructure projects, was designed and built during the term of the Grand Coalition government.

ARRANGE FINANCING

“Dualling should have been done from day one. They should not have done that road without dualling it,” Mr Macharia said in a telephone interview. “We want to accelerate the dualling and have it done as soon as we arrange financing and that’s why we’re processing these MoUs.”

The MoUs, he said, will provide the roadmap for the design and costing of the project expected to take two years once it is commissioned.

The dualling of the road was part of 11 infrastructure projects that the Kenyan government delegation showcased to global investors during the two-day Belt and Road Forum for International Co-operation in Beijing, China, in May.

Other projects included expansion of the Southern and Northern Bypasses.

Mr Macharia did not disclose the firms that will be signing the MoU with the ministry, saying they will only be known when they sign binding commercial contracts “in two to three months’ time”.

“The signing of the MoU will pave way for developing of a commercial contract when we will announce the partners, “he said. “We are discussing with Chinese as a matter of fact.”