The first stage of dualling the notoriously congested Ngong Road will start in April, following the award of the tender to World Kaihatsu Kogyo Ltd., a Japanese construction firm.
According to the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura), the handlers of the project, phase one – covering 2.6 kilometres – will start at the Kenya National Library and extend to the Kilimani Ring Road Junction.
“The project will provide a median to be developed later for Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) or Light railway. It will also include the installation of street lights, intelligent Traffic signals and walkways for pedestrians,” Kura said in a press statement.
A BRT is a transit system designed to allow buses to run for a significant part of their trip within a fully dedicated “right of way” to avoid traffic jam.
The BRT system is found in big metropolis around the world, especially in Europe.
The Ngong Road expansion project is sponsored through a grant from the Japanese government through its Economic Co-operation Programme Project, and will be supervised by Tokyo-based Katahira and Engineers International.
Once completed, the dual carriageway will reduce the time wasted by motorists and pedestrians and cater for increased population in the future.
Japanese firms are increasingly bidding for infrastructure projects in Kenya, stepping up competition for Chinese firms that are handling the bulk of the country’s big dollar projects.
Toyota Tsusho’s active presence in Kenya, undertaking mega projects, is widely seen as an example of Japan firms’ growing interest in local undertakings.
Having completed the 280-MW Olkaria IV Geothermal power plants last year, Toyota Tsusho is now focusing on other projects including Olkaria V and VI.
The company, which is currently building a Sh103 billion fertiliser plant in Eldoret, has other fields of interest among them Longonot, Menengai, Akiira, Baringo-Silali and Suswa power projects.