Uhuru Highway Upgrade Project in Nairobi May Not be Realised Soon as Earlier Projected
In November last year, KENHA director-general Meshack Kidenda said the project would be ready in 3-4 years. But now an official from the authority says the plan is still at the design stages.
At first, work on the elevated road was expected to start in 2013 and end in 2015, but the latest development suggest it might take longer as the exact commencement date cannot be established. The Nairobi Motorway Group, formed by a consortium of international investors led by building giant Strabag, was awarded the tender in 2009.
But the government was forced to cancel the contract after the World Bank declined to finance it on integrity issues touching on an investor in Strabag. The World Bank was also uncomfortable with the impact of the road on the environment and the level of compensation to households and businesses that were to be displaced by the project.
In particular, the Bretton Woods institution expressed concern over Strabag’s management of the contract after a Russian investor it had blacklisted bought into the project.
The Strabag-led consortium, which has since been dissolved, was to build the Uhuru Highway overpass and the Southern by-pass as part of a 30-year concession deal that included a toll road — where the contractor would collect fees for use of the lane.
Mr Njogu could not, however, disclose more information on the project that was planned over three ago years, with the World Bank previously withholding funds to a concession winner.