Nairobi–Nakuru–Mau Summit toll road plan forges ahead

Nairobi-Nakuru highway
The Nairobi-Nakuru highway. PHOTO/FILE
Nairobi is pushing forward with plans to introduce tolling on an existing stretch of road for the first time as part of a broader push to attract requisite investment in the Kenyan infrastructure.

According to the Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA), the Nairobi –Nakuru– Mau Summit road will be expanded into a four-lane dual carriageway to ease movement of people and goods between the port of Mombasa and western Kenya.

The project, which is expected to cost Sh14 billion, has been awarded to China Wu Yi Ltd and it involves both expansion of the road and erection of toll stations for an estimated 16,000 motorists to enable its financiers to recoup their investment and make a profit for the next three decades.

The proposal, under which drivers will pay an undisclosed fee to use the upgraded highway, marks a significant policy shift by the government, which had previously done away with tolls in all roads across the country.

The Nairobi-Mau Summit road, which is part of the Northern Corridor, is one of eastern Africa’s most important roads as it connects western Kenya to the port of Mombasa and the capital Nairobi.

The expansion of the busy and very crucial highway is expected to significantly reduce the travel time between Nairobi and Mau Summit while ending the perennial traffic jams that are often experienced in Nakuru town and around Gilgil.