The 84 kilometres long Kenol Marua dual carriageway will be completed in June next year.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has said the government wants the Chinese company that is constructing the road at a cost of Ksh 14 billion to fast track construction works and ensure it becomes operational as soon as possible.
This is despite the fact that the project is scheduled for completion in three years time.
Macharia who spoke Friday while inspecting the project at Makuyu in Murang’a said the government also intends to expand a 15 kilometres stretch from Kenol to Thika town from the current two lanes to three lanes.
Inspecting construction of the 84km-long Kenol – Sagana – Marua road, which is being upgraded into a modern 4-lane dual carriageway. The new road, which is part of the Trans-Africa Highway (Cairo – Cape Town) will ease traffic jams along this key transport artery. pic.twitter.com/HqtetB7T7x
— CS James Macharia, EGH (@JamesMacharia_) February 26, 2021
This, he said, will enable it to absorb traffic from the new dual carriageway into the Thika superhighway without snarl ups.
The dual carriageway will connect the Northern Corridor from Nairobi to the Lapsset Corridor in Isiolo.
The first phase of the project will see a 48 kilometres stretch from Kenol to Sagana town constructed at a cost of Ksh 8.5 billion while the second phase will see 38 kilometres upgraded from Sagana to Marua at Ksh 6.4 billion.
The project will see the highway upgraded to a four lanes dual carriageway and will also entail the construction of a grade separated junction at Makutano.
It will also include the construction of major and minor drainage structures and will see four bridges constructed from Kenol to Makutano.
The Cabinet Secretary said the road was a nightmare before the expansion project was started due to the heavy traffic all the way from Northern Kenya.
In its current status of single carriageway, the road is a constriction to the flow of the high traffic experienced between Nairobi and Isiolo.
Macharia added that he is in consultation with Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria to have traders who will be displaced at Kenol town relocated to a modern market.
“We have plans together with the governor to source for land near Kenol and construct a modern market similar to the ones we are constructing at Muthithi and Kangare to provide traders with a space to conduct their business,” Macharia said.
The contractor will also establish markets for hawkers operating along the road and upgrade streets in the affected towns.
Two hospitals will be constructed at Kenol and Makutano to cater to road accident victims as part of the contractor’s Corporate Social Responsibility.
The project is one of the milestones of the Jubilee government and will enable the road to absorb the traffic it receives from Mwea, Meru, Embu, Kerugoya, Mukurwe-ini and Tumutumu areas and boost the socio-economic growth of the area.
It will also enhance economic advantages for the country in its trade with Ethiopia and help the neighboring country with its import challenges while increasing local economic prosperity.
“This road will transform the economic wellbeing of the Mt. Kenya region and make it easier for both farmers and traders to conduct their businesses,” Macharia added.