Construction of northern corridor that has cost $440 million (Sh.44billion) will be completed in December giving a boost to trade between Kenya and landlocked countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
According to Kenya National Highways Authority the multi-billion World Bank funded roads improvement under the Northern Corridor Transport Improvement Project (NTCIP) is geared towards facilitating movements of goods and services in the region.
The second component of the project is upgrade of airports and building capacity of Kenya Civil Aviation Authority which will take up $60million (Sh6billion) making the total project amount $500 million (Sh50 billion).
The Northern Corridor starts from the Port of Mombasa to Malaba border post, with Uganda and is expected to ease congestion of major roads along the corridor increasing efficiency of road transport facilitating trade and regional integration.
“So far rehabilitation works of Maji ya Chumvi – Miritini road, Sultan Hamud – Machakos Turnoff, Lanet – Njoro, Njoro Turnoff – Timboroa, Mau Summit – Kericho, Kericho – Nyamasaria, Nyamasaria – Kisumu Airport including the Kisumu Bypass and the ongoing rehabilitation of Kisumu Airport – Kisian Road have been done,” said acting general manager incharge of special projects at Kenha, Mr David Muchilwa.
Other facilities that have been improved are truck parking bay in Nyamasaria and Chepson.
Connecting feeder roads that include Kibwezi – Kitui – Mwingi – Maua - Isiolo road and Lakeside Tanzania – Narok road are also in line of construction with financing of consultancy services for the design and some of the reports have been submitted to Kenha.
The World Bank has also funded feasibility studies and preliminary designs of the Dongo Kundu bypass while Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) has funded construction of bypass and the Kipevu New Container Terminal Link Road that commenced in May.
Consultancy services for the final designs of the Sudan Road Link which consists of Lesseru – Kitale – Marich pass, Marich pass- Lodwar and Lodwar - Nadapal have also been completed as a result of the Northern Corridor Transport Improvement Project.
Rehabilitation of major roads in Kisumu from Nyamasaria, via the Kisumu by-pass to end at the Kisian road junction and from Mau Summit – Kericho – Nyamasaria road has also benefited the town with ease of transportation of goods and services to various markets.
Road works of the projects are complete and have been taken over by Kenya National Highways Authority except for a few roadside amenities which are in progress. Works such as street lighting, road furniture, construction of footbridges and road drainage are ongoing and are expected to be complete by December 2015.