- The 84km road will ease traffic along the busy highway that goes all the way to Northern Kenya.
- It will also boost the economy of five counties that it will pass through.
The government has started the construction of the 84km Kenol-Sagana-Marua dual carriageway.
The Sh16.7 billion project funded by the Africa Development Bank will be completed in three years.
The dual carriageway is part of the Great North Road from Mombasa, through Nairobi to Moyale and will connect the country to Ethiopia.
It forms part of the 800km stretch from Nairobi to Moyale through five counties of Murang'a, Kirinyaga, Machakos, Embu and Nyeri.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) in its website indicates that the road in its current status of single carriageway is an impediment to the flow of the high traffic experienced between Nairobi and Isiolo.
The road currently experiences heavy traffic especially during weekends as Kenyans move from Nairobi to the Central and Northern parts of the country and back.
The upgrade will also enable the road to absorb the traffic it receives from Mwea, Meru, Embu, Kerugoya, Mukurwe-ini and Tumutumu areas and boost the socio-economic growth of the area.
It will also enhance economic advantages for the country in its trade with Ethiopia and help the neighbouring country with its import challenges while increasing local economic prosperity.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia on Saturday toured the road to inspect preliminary construction works.
He confirmed that the expansion is part of a larger undertaking to link the Northern Corridor from Mombasa to Malaba with the Lapsset Corridor that links Lamu to South Sudan and Ethiopia through Isiolo.
The CS pointed out that the expansion will include the rehabilitation of the 13km Thika-Kenol highway that has started developing potholes and roads that feed Thika town.
He noted that about Sh8.4 billion will be used to expand the section between Kenol town and Sagana, where five bridges will be reconstructed while the remaining part will consume Sh6.1 billion.
The government is also constructing the 540km long Mau Mau road that will traverse four counties in the region.
The road will start in Kiambu, pass through Murang’a and end in Nyeri.
Another road that is part of the project will start in Gatura in Gatanga and Kinyona in Kigumo to Kiambirui and Njabini in Nyandarua county and end in Naivasha.
The road is aimed at honouring Mau Mau fighters who used the routes in and out of the Aberdare Forest during the fight against colonialism.
The road will ease the transportation of farm produce from one county to the other and increase farmers’ returns.
While inspecting the road in Kairo area in Mathioya last month, the CS stressed that the contractors were under instruction to use local labour.
“This will ensure the Sh30 billion allocated for this project is felt in the villages and the economy subsequently boosted before the road ends,” he said.
Macharia said the President is expected to launch the road in each of the benefiting counties.
The 240km railway line that is being rehabilitated from Nairobi to Nanyuki is also expected to boost agricultural activities in the region.
The railway line is part of the President’s key strategic interventions to connect the entire country and improve transport services.
“The government started with a railway from Mombasa through Nairobi to Naivasha. Now it is connecting the Northern Corridor. Even fuel will be transported through rail,” he said.
Edited by Henry Makori