The long awaited construction of the Kenol-Makutano-Sagana-Marua dual carriageway will start in July.
Construction will be under the supervision of Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA).
Yesterday, KeNHA Director General Peter Mundinia said the project would be funded by the African Development Bank at a cost of Sh30 billion.
The agency has drawn a plan showing that the road will pass the Kenol-Sagana route, omitting Murang’a town.
Mr Mundinia said a contractor would be on site at the beginning of July, hence the need for structures on the way of the designed carriageway to be demolished.
“This project will open opportunities from Moyale to Nairobi due to the good infrastructure,” said Mundinia.
“With all the necessary arrangements about the project having been put in place, the contractor is expected on the site this July.”
Mundinia would not reveal who won the tender to construct the road, but sources told The Standard the work had been given to Gulsan International, a Turkish firm.
But even before the project starts, Murang’a leaders have raised concerns, saying they have been left out in KeNHA’s plan that bypasses the town.
Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata said diverting the road would affect the town economically. He said the initial plans were for the road to pass through the town.
Kembu Gitura, another Murang’a leader, said the road had to pass through Murang’a.
When contacted, Mr Gitura said the actual plan was for the road to pass through Marugua-Murang’a town-Sagana town and then end up at Marua.
“It was actually the President (Uhuru Kenyatta) who gave us his word that this road would certainly pass through our county. And unless otherwise, this is what I still maintain,” said Mr Gitura.
Mathioya MP Peter Kimari called for patience among leaders, saying the section between Kenol-Murang’a and Sagana route would also be considered.
Mr Kimari said leaders from Murang’a County were aware of plans to consider the controversial section.
He explained that the Government was keen to have the road constructed following increased pressure over the flow of vehicles on the route.
“We are aware that the section will be considered as the plan is to expand the road between Kenol and Isiolo as part of the State development plan,” Kimari said.
He said Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia was aware of Murang’a leaders’ concerns.
Meanwhile, the proposal to convert the busy road to a dual carriageway has driven many to acquire parcels locally, leading to an increase in land prices.
An acre of land that previously went for Sh200,000 can now fetch Sh4 million. In some areas the same size of land goes for Sh7 million.
Some businessmen are already buying and selling land to developers engaged in hospitality.
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