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Archive for February 12th, 2012

Construction of Thika-Nyeri carriageway to start in 2013

Posted by Administrator on February 12, 2012

PHOTO | FILE Construction work at a section of Thika Road.

PHOTO | FILE Construction work at a section of Thika Road.

Traders in the central and eastern regions of the country are set to benefit from the planned construction of Thika-Sagana-Marwa dual carriageway.

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA) is currently seeking a consultant to conduct evaluations and design the architecture of the road.

“We are in the process of acquiring consultants to study the current flow of traffic plying this road and make similar projections for the next 10 years to determine the design and size of the road we will construct,” said director-general of KENHA Meshack Kidenda.

He said the qualifying consultant would be on site by May, this year, while the actual construction process would begin next year.

New road The road will extend from Kenol, where the current Thika superhighway ends, and pass through Makutano and Karatina to end at Marwa, the junction to Nanyuki, near Nyeri town.

“The designing phase has been funded by the African Development Bank, and we are hoping the bank will take on funding the construction once the design is ready,” said Mr Kidenda.

The new road will improve connections between Nairobi and Karatina, which is a large open-air market for fresh fruit and vegetables. The market is currently being expanded.

Miraa traders who use the road  to transport their produce from Meru to Nairobi for export and local sale will also enjoy improved transportation facility.

According the Nyambene Miraa Traders Association spokesperson Mr Kimathi Munjuri, the current road is bad and costs miraa traders a lot.

“We take close to one hour between Makutano and Nairobi since the road is jammed with more traffic than it can handle. This distance should ideally take us 30 minutes at most,” he said.

“In a significant number of cases, this has resulted in the products arriving at the airport late, which is an outright loss,” said Munjuri.

He said that this problem is also reflected in high fuel consumption by vehicles transporting miraa. Currently, the average fuel consumption cost stands between Sh9,000 and Sh11,000.

He appreciated the government’s effort saying that the new road might reduce their woes by a big margin and therefore increase farmers’ returns.

Main connection

The road is also likely to boost tourism in the area since it is currently the main connection to the Mount Kenya region which offers a number of tourist attraction sites.

Additionally, the road connects to the Addis Ababa-Nairobi road currently under construction following a deal signed by the two countries late last year. It is expected to improve trade between the two countries.

Ethiopia is a landlocked country and relies in part on the port of Mombasa to import goods by sea. The construction of the road would  reduce the cost of imports to Ethiopa.

According to Kenya’s Economic Survey 2010, Nairobi’s exports to Addis Ababa reached 43.1 million dollars (Sh3.6 billion) while Kenya imported goods worth 2.4 million dollars (Sh201 million).

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/business/news/Construction+of+carriageway+to+start+in+2013+/-/1006/1324916/-/dsixc9/-/

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