•Kenya Power has commenced relocation of its lines along the Mlolongo-Mombasa Road and-James Gichuri stretch to pave way for the project.
•China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), the contractor, is already on site with preliminary works underway.
Relocation of power lines along the 27.1 kilometre-long Nairobi Expressway will cost Sh1.0 billion, Kenya Power announced yesterday.
The cost will be met by the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) which also has to meet the cost of relocating water and sewerage lines, and moving of infrastructure belonging to about 15 ICT service providers.
An estimated Sh4.2 billion will go into securing extra land while about Sh3.8 is for other services.
Based on the initial estimation, approximately 40 acres need to be acquired for the project, including the land of Kenya Railways, Uhuru Park, the University of Nairobi and Boulevard Hotel.
Moving water and sewerage lines from the path of the Sh62.1 billion project is likely to cost approximately Sh7 billion, engineers familiar with the required works say.
Kenya Power has commenced relocation of its lines along the Mlolongo-Mombasa Road and-James Gichuri stretch to pave way for construction of the road project, whose contractor is already on site.
Management yesterday said the company has already covered 17 kilometrers of the Expressway.
The scope of work will involve the relocation of a combined 106 kilometrers of high voltage (66kV), medium voltage (11kV), and low voltage cables as well as 28 transformers serving the area.
40.6 kilometrers of the network will pass underground, Kenya Power managing director Bernard Ngugi said, with the utility firm warning of possible power supply interruption along the project.
“When executing projects of this magnitude, some of the customers within estates along the Expressway corridor will experience interruption in power supply. However, the company is planning to minimise interruptions,” Ngugi said.
This is by leveraging on ‘Live Line Maintenance’ technology, which will allow the company to relocate most of the lines without switching off supply.
“We aim to keep the lights on even as we carry out this critical exercise. Where it will be inevitable to switch off supply, we are scheduling interruptions and communicating the plan to customers,” Ngugi said.
The exercise which begun this month will be completed by end of November.
A team of 60 employees from Kenya Power and four external underground cabling contractors is carrying out the exercise.
“By end of November, Kenya Power will be done with the relocation and handed over space,” chairman Mahboub Maalim said.
Works on the project have begun with Chinese contractor– China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) currently on preliminary works, which includes surveying, clearing of the ground from undergrowth and vegetation, and excavation.
The Expressway begins at Mlolongo to JKIA, Nairobi’s CBD, and ends at Westlands along Waiyaki Way.
The road project was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in October last year, with its main objective being to decongest the city.
The project stems from a 2008 approval by Parliament to construct a 77-kilometre double-decker road in Nairobi under a 30-year build-operate-transfer deal.
It however delayed for nearly a decade. Its construction fast collapsed after the World Bank questioned its suitability and financing.
In September 2018, CRBC was invited to develop the project during the Beijing Summit-Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
The Chinese who are also the financiers will build and operate the planned toll-road for 27 years, between 2023 and 2049, before handing over the project to the government.