Chinese-built Kenya's Nairobi Expressway launches new exit to ease mobility

Updated: January 22, 2024 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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Vehicles run on the Nairobi Expressway in Nairobi, Kenya, Feb. 6, 2023. (Xinhua/Han Xu)

The Chinese-built 27.1-km Nairobi Expressway on Saturday launched a new exit to ease the movement of vehicles in downtown sections of Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, where most government offices are located.

NAIROBI, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese-built 27.1-km Nairobi Expressway on Saturday launched a new exit to ease the movement of vehicles in downtown sections of Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, where most government offices are located.

The Haile Selassie exit has five toll lanes and construction started in July 2023. Kipchumba Murkomen, the cabinet secretary for Roads and Transport, said construction of the new exit was informed by the need for seamless vehicular movement from the Expressway into Nairobi's bustling central business district.

"The exit will make it possible to handle traffic flowing into the central business district which is also the seat of government where the office of the president, parliament and judiciary are located," Murkomen said.

Constructed under a public-private partnership model, the Nairobi Expressway connects Kenya's main airport located to the south of the capital to the upmarket Westlands business district.

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Vehicles enter and exit the Nairobi Expressway in Nairobi, Kenya, Feb. 7, 2023. (Xinhua/Han Xu)

The thoroughfare whose construction commenced in September 2020 and was completed in May 2022, has reduced travel time from Westlands to the main airport from two hours to twenty minutes.

According to Moja Expressway Company, the thoroughfare's operator, it has recorded a total traffic volume of 29 million so far, while its daily average traffic volume has increased from 10,000 trips to about 65,000 trips on weekdays, a six-fold increase.

The Nairobi Expressway, which has 15 entrances and 15 exits, has more than 200,000 users who have subscribed to its electronic toll collection (ETC) service, according to the operator.

Murkomen noted that the Nairobi Expressway is a model for strategic partnership between government and private investors to help bridge infrastructure gaps in the country. He reiterated the government's commitment to improving the investment climate amid a quest to develop new highways and spur industrialization, commerce and regional integration.

Murkomen added that the government will shield investors from political risks and disclosed that plans are afoot to construct a new expressway through a public-private partnership model to connect Nairobi and neighboring rural towns.  

Editor: Su Dan