The US firm contracted to build the Ksh.300 billion Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway has rejected Kenya’s offer to have it construct the road and recover its costs from charging motorists toll fees.
The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) on September 14 said American contractor Bechtel has settled on a model where the State pays it for building the road instead of recovering its money through user fees.
According to Business Daily, this will force the government to borrow the billions of shillings, jerking public debt whose rapid growth has triggered warnings and throwing the road construction into limbo.
Motorists were expected pay toll charges for the luxury of cruising on the route which is currently characterised by heavy congestion and slow speeds.
The budget office cited a study by Inter-America Development Bank showed a road is likely to be a viable candidate for construction through the toll model if it has a flow exceeding 5,000 vehicles per day unless the government offers a substantial subsidy to the contractor.
“This limits the number of roads that can be undertaken by the model in Kenya to a few sections of the main transport corridors. Along the A8 (Malaba – Eldoret – Nakuru – Nairobi – Voi – Mombasa) road, the Nairobi Expressway has so far proved to be a viable section for tolling while the Mombasa – Nairobi Expressway has proved difficult,” PBO said.
Via Business Daily
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