Plan gathers speed for the Nairobi-Nakuru highway upgrade

 Heavy traffic jam on the Nakuru-Nairobi highway
Heavy traffic jam on the Nakuru-Nairobi highway. PHOTO/FILE
The planned expansion of the Nairobi –Nakuru– Mau Summit road has moved closer to reality following the pre-qualification of 10 foreign companies that had expressed their interest in the project.

The companies, which responded to the Kenya National Highway Authority’s request for qualification, will now bid for the contract to expand the 180 kilometre road from Rironi to Mau Summit into a four-lane dual carriageway.

The project will involve the re-carpeting of Rironi to Mai Mahiu-Naivasha Road and the erection of toll stations along the highway under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme.

KeNHA had invited proficient local and international firms to express interest in undertaking the project, but none of the local contractors impressed the agency.

KeNHA says it will now evaluate the bids and request pre-qualified firms to submit technical and financial proposals.

“It is after this stage that the eventual winning bid will be announced to undertake construction of the project,” the agency said.

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 will significantly reduce the travel time between Nairobi and Mau Summit while ending the perennial traffic jam experienced in Nakuru town and around Gilgil.