State justifies Sh1bn a kilometre bypass cost
Tuesday, April 9, 2019 21:13
By BONFACE OTIENO
The government has justified why Nairobi Western bypass will cost nearly twice as much as comparable roads with the fee of building a kilometre going for Sh1 billion.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) attributed the high cost to the terrain and features such as traffic interchanges, service roads, slope protection, bridges and underpasses as well as noise barriers.
The cost of the 17.3-kilometre bypass had raised concern on whether taxpayers were 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 six years ago was Sh738 million while fee for the eight-lane Outer Ring is Sh615 million and James Gichuru-Red Hill (Sh602 million).
“The highway traverses a hilly section North of the city, with deep valleys to be filed and high cuts to achieve maximum capacity and safe alignment,” KeNHA’s assistant director for corporate communication Charles Njogu said yesterday.
“The project location and circumstances explains the significant work quantities and cost of works translates to higher unit costs compared to rural roads of lower service level and construction standards.
The Nairobi Western bypass stretches from Ruaka to Gitaru and will have four lanes and 20 service roads on each side as well as seven interchanges at Gitaru, Wangige, Kihara, Kabete Ndenderu and Ruaka.
It will have 11 traffic bridges, seven footbridges, slope protection walls and steel barrier for pedestrian control.