Investors wanting to do business with the Kenya Government should start getting ready for one of the biggest road expansion projects. Plans are now complete for Mombasa highway to be expanded from the current single lane to six lane modern highway and bids are likely to be invited within a short time.

According to Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia the government plans to build the road through a Public Private Partnership (PPP).

The 485km Mombasa-Nairobi highway is crucial for trade in the region since it connects the port to Nairobi and onwards to the hinterland markets, including landlocked Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

90% of Goods

More than 90 per cent of goods landing at Mombasa port – one of the largest and busiest ports in Africa – are transported over the road and over a parallel railway line, underlining the importance of the road. The railway line is currently under construction to replace the snail speed 1890s rails with modern high speed Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line.  When completed, the SGR will reduce the journey from Nairobi to Mombasa from 12 hours to four hours.

“We have developed plans to do it in terms of having a PPP framework,” Mr.  Macharia said. The ministry would soon make public the framework for the partnership. The government has however,  yet to decide whether it introducing toll roads or use model is the annuity program to finance the construction

He said that the expansion of the road, together with the nearly completed Standard gauge railway, is part of a plan to create an integrated transport system to support the port.