Estimated to cost Sh8.5 billion (US$112), the Northern and Eastern Bypasses are part of the government’s major infrastructure development program aimed at making Kenya the regional business hub.
The Kenyan government will finance 15% of the project (Sh1.2 billion) while the Chinese will finance the remaining 85% (Sh7.3 billion).
The 31 km long Northern Bypass starts from Ruaka trading centre on Limuru road, overpasses Banana road and reaches Closeburn farm. It then passes Kahawa West and Kamae and proceeds to Ruiru and joins the Eastern bypass. On the other hand, the 39km long Eastern Bypass links Thika Road to Mombasa Road near Highway Cabanas Restaurant.
The work is being undertaken by China Road and Bridge Corporation and is expected to be complete by 2012.
Speaking during the launch ceremony, President Kibaki thanked the Chinese government for providing the necessary financial support in the form of a concessional loan for construction of the two bypasses, saying his government recognized the importance of an efficient road transport network in facilitating economic and social development.
“It is for this reason that the government is implementing various measures to tackle traffic congestion in our urban centers, ” Kibaki said.
Kibaki further thanked the Chinese government for supporting Kenya’s development over the years, especially through continued support in several infrastructure projects.
On his part, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Deng Hongbo pledged quality workmanship on the various projects being undertaken by Chinese companies.
“China will continue to encourage its companies to invest in Kenya to share technological advances and strengthen the existing cordial relations between the two countries,” Deng said.