President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday officially commissioned the construction and expansion of part of the busy Mombasa Highway.
The project road is located in Machakos County and runs in a south-easterly direction from Athi River to Kyumbu Centre, approximately 20kn away.
The project is part of the Northern Corridor, which is the main transit route connecting the port of Mombasa to Nairobi and destinations further upcountry including the neighbouring countries of Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Eastern Congo.
China Railway 21st Bureau Group Co won the Sh5.3 billion tender to expand the 20km Athi River to Machakos turn off into a dual carriageway.
Work on the Athi River-Machakos Road is expected to be completed in 18 months. The project will be funded by the government and World Bank.
The project will complement the ongoing dualling of James Githuru junction to Rironi and the upcoming expansion of JKIA to Likoni Road junction.
The new carriageway will have a width of 7m and will carry two lanes. Shoulders will be 2m wide on the outer side and 1m wide on the side adjoining the existing carriageway.
There will also be the construction of two large bridges over the Athi River, three grade separated interchanges (flyovers) to serve Athi River town, Daystar University and junction to Mua Hills.
There will also be 8km of service roads constructed to provide low speed access to roadside properties in the built up area around Athi River town.