The cost of building Nairobi Western bypass has sparked uproar with revelations that it will on average cost Sh1 billion to construct a kilometre, nearly twice the fee of comparable roads.
The cost of the 17.3-kilometre bypass has raised concern on whether taxpayers are getting value for money given that roads of similar complexity such as Thika Road and Outer Ring cost less.
A kilometre of the 12-lane Thika Road commissioned four years ago was Sh600 million while fee for the ongoing eight-lane Outer Ring is Sh707 million.
“KeNHA (Kenya National Highway Agency) must explain why the intended bypass is going to cost Sh1 billion per kilometre,” tweeted @davidolusi among a series of tweets seeking clarity on the cost of the road being built by the Chinese.
The KeNHA on Wednesday declined to offer a cost breakdown for the project until contract details are complete.
“We are not able to answer the questions that you asked because we are also bound by the terms and conditions with the financier,” communications director Charles Njogu told the Business Daily.
“Costs are determined by the number of services and we had already indicated to you what services are going to be put in place, and of course issues of land compensation. The project cost is consistent with the scope of work to be undertaken.”
A comparative analysis reveals that the Sh30 billion Thika Road has four interchanges, the same as the Western bypass. But Thika road has 12 flyovers.
The 13km Outer Ring Road currently under construction will have eight lanes including the service roads, 10 footbridges, non-motorised transport facilities and six interchanges.
Besides the lanes, Western bypass will have a bus park at Wangige, walkways on each side of the highway and underpasses for pedestrians.
KeNHA signed a Sh17.3 billion agreement with China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) two weeks ago for construction of the bypass.
Nairobi Western bypass stretches from Ruaka to Gitaru and will have four lanes and service roads on each side as well as four interchanges at Wangige, Kihara, Ndenderu and Ruaka.
The new road will be the last of three bypasses forming a ring around Nairobi designed to divert traffic along the Mombasa-Nairobi-Nakuru highway from the central business district. The others are the Eastern and Southern bypasses.
The road adds to the huge contracts that CRBC has secured in Kenya which include the standard gauge railway and the Southern bypass.
Source: Business Daily