Government prepares Thika highway concession plan

Thika superhighway. KeNHA has shelved plans to install toll booth on the highway.
Thika superhighway. KeNHA has shelved plans to install toll booth on the highway. PHOTO/XINHUA
The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) is planning to invite proposals from highway concessionaires to manage the newly completed Thika Superhighway.

The authority held meetings a week ago to discuss the concession program but its officials did not confirm whether or not the proposed plan will be followed saying that it was “still early to divulge details.”

The awarding of the contract is scheduled for May 2013, with the toll operation expected to begin in January 2014 and run for between 20 and 30 years.

The toll is expected to raise US$388 million, an amount that will be used to service the US$300 million loans from the Africa Development Bank and China Exim Bank used in the construction of the 50.4km highway.

According to KeNHA’s proposal, motorists will pay a minimum fee of Sh1.20 (US$10 cents) per kilometre for passengers vehicle, Sh1.79 (US$2 cents) for commuter taxi and Sh3.59 (US$4 cents) for multi axle vehicles.

Construction Business Review has learnt that several companies, including Consulting Engineering Services of India and APEC Consortium Ltd of Kenya, have already made proposals to the government for the management of the superhighway.

The contracted concessionaire will also establish a highway telecommunication system and a highway control centre that will be equipped with highway patrol vehicles, cranes and ambulances with paramedical services.

Both the toll station and the highway management centre will be located in Juja, about 15km from Thika town, according to the authority’s proposal.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Read the latest issue of Construction Business Review. Flip through the pages of the paper real-time or download a copy to read offline. Sign up for a FREE subscription to get the paper delivered to your inbox every month.