State eyes more road projects despite hitting 10,000km target


Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia (fourth left), Public Works Principal Secretary Paul Maringa (third left), Kenya Rural Roads Authority Director General Philemon Kandie (right) with leaders from Murang’a and Nyeri during a road inspection tour on October 10, 2021. [Courtesy]

The government will continue expanding roads and other infrastructural projects in the country despite hitting the 10,000km (kilometres) that was initially promised at the beginning of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime in 2013.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the State has already tarmacked 10,500km of roads across the country, surpassing the original promise it made in 2013.

“Infrastructure is an important artery in economic progression. We embarked on a mission to open up the country and make Kenyans access any part of the country without struggle,” Macharia said. “We had initially pledged to complete 10,000km of tarmac by the end of 2022, but we surpassed that mark and now are heading to 11,000km.”

Macharia was speaking during an inspection tour of roads in Murang’a and Nyeri counties yesterday. He was accompanied by regional leaders including MPs for Mathioya Peter Kimari, Maragua’s Mary Waithera, James Mwangi of Tetu, Anthony Kiai of Mukurweini and Gichuki Mugambi of Othaya.

The CS said the State is using alternative financing which will not subject it to loans as it constructs more roads across the country.

“We are now inviting investors to put their money inroads through a public-private partnership (PPP) model. The mega project of the Nairobi Expressway, for instance, is employing thousands of Kenyans and the government has not spent a penny on the project,” Macharia said.

"The investors will recover their money via tolling. This is a big win for Kenyans, who will have an option of using the expressway or the free Mombasa Road."

The CS said other projects such as the Rironi-Mau Summit road will adopt the PPP model.

He was confident of the Nairobi-Mombasa highway taking the same route.

Macharia also commissioned the construction of Gitugi-Kagumoini road and inspected other roads which are under construction including Kanjama-Kagumoini, Kairo-Kagicha and rehabilitation of Kiriaini-Mugeka road said the government has done 7,000km of roads in the second term compared to 3,000km it did in the first term.

“We are pushing all the contractors to work within the given timelines to ensure the projects are fully completed by mid-next year,” he said.

The CS announced that the Mau Mau Road which connects four counties in Central Kenya will be completed by September next year.

“Construction of Mau Mau road has been given to four companies to hasten the works. Tarmacking the road has challenges posed by the terrain but we are committed to ensuring it is completed at given timelines,” he said.

Mukurweini MP said the road upgrades will spur the economic fortunes of the area and open up the region.

On the dualing of the Kenol–Marua road, the biggest road infrastructure in the region, the CS said the works are at about 30 per cent complete. By December this year, one side of the road will be completed.

“The contractors doing this road are ahead of schedule and we expect by June next year, the construction of the dual carriage will be fully complete,” he said. “After completion of dualing Kenol-Marua, the government will embark on extending the dual carriage to Isiolo.”