- Simon Kiragu
The government has announced that Kenyans will be required to pay before using certain major roads should the National Assembly approve the proposed plan that has been tabled in Parliament.
Ministry of Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has proposed a Ksh. 300 toll fee for motorists using the expressway from Mlolongo to Westlands.
"That will be done by the private sector that will be charging a small toll fee of about Ksh. 300, but for those who do not want to use it, there will still be old road underneath.Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia speaking at KICC on March 17, 2016.Daily Nation
"This is what we are trying to do, to add more and more roads through the private sector and make sure we have partnership arrangements with investors. That way we can do the roads without having to bust the debt ceiling," stated Macharia
The contraction of the modern expressway running from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to James Gichuru in Westlands is already underway and is expected to take three years to complete.
The road will be elevated from NextGen Mall and will have 10 interchanges at the SGR interchange, the JKIA interchange, Eastern bypass, Capital Center, Haile Selassie, Thika road interchange, Westland's interchange and James Gichuru.
The project is estimated to cost over Ksh 65 billion and is set to decongest major roads in the city that experience traffic snarl-ups.
Payments will be done at exit points of the major roads where both manual and electronic toll stations will be erected.
This is in a bid by the government to raise money to finance highway projects as it races to upgrade its infrastructure without taking new loans.
The major roads that have been marked for toll fees are Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit road, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)-Rironi highway.
The proposed Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway, Nairobi Southern Bypass, Thika Superhighway, and a second Nyali bridge that will connect Mombasa Island to the mainland.
During the budget presentation on Thursday, June 11, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani announced that the government is reworking the public-private partnership (PPP) framework to allow for the introduction of toll fees for use of major highways.
A Bill has already been tabled in Parliament seeking to revive 15 toll stations that previously saw motorists paying to use roads.
Some of the roads included Nairobi-Mombasa, Nairobi-Nakuru, Nairobi-Thika, Nakuru-Nyahururu, Ahero-Kisii, and Kisumu-Busia highways.A section of the Thika Superhighway in NairobiSimon Kiragu
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