Why you will need up to Sh12, 000 monthly to use Expressway

One of the expressway Toll Stations mounted in Westlands, Nairobi. Motorists will pay up to Sh310 to use the Nairobi Expressway.

What you need to know:

  • The state has warned motorists against using the road before it is officially opened.
  • Drivers will be able to use the elevated highway to avoid traffic jams.

Motorists will pay at least Sh115 to use the Nairobi Expressway, which is almost complete but is yet to be opened for trials.

This comes as those who plan to use the new elevated road will fork up to Sh12, 400 to use the road on a return trip between Mlolongo and Westland's, in what promises to be an additional cost for many Nairobi motorists.

Last week, some motorists drove on the Sh89 billion thoroughfare, prompting the government to warn the public against its use before it is officially opened.

“Please be advised that the Nairobi Expressway is NOT open for use by the public. Construction is still ongoing and, for your safety, we strongly advise motorists not to drive along any accessible parts of the project,” read a notice by the Nairobi Expressway’s head office earlier this week.

“Anyone found driving within or accessing the Nairobi Expressway route before the official launch will be trespassing and will therefore be reported to the authorities,” the notice warned.

The warning came a day after the Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) also cautioned motorists against driving on the new road.

According to Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, once the road is complete, motorists are expected to pay between Sh100 and Sh1,550 in toll charges, depending on the size of the vehicle and the distance covered.

The charges will be dollar-based to cushion the Chinese operator from exchange rate losses and those who opt to use it will need to purchase a special toll payment card.

Avoid traffic jams

Drivers will be able to use the highway, that is partially elevated above Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway and Waiyaki Way, to avoid traffic jams below.

The dual carriageway has 11 interchanges at Mlolongo, Standard Gauge Railway, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Eastern Bypass, Southern Bypass, Capital Centre, Haile Selassie Avenue, Museum Hill, Westlands, and James Gichuru Road.

When the rates were released in 2020, the dollar at the time was exchanging at Sh103 compared to now, which is at its highest rate ever at Sh114.

According to According to Gazette Notice No. 11326, published on December 31, 2020, the rates at the time ranged between Sh100 and Sh310 for Class Three saloon cars.

The concessionaire — China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) — is responsible for designing, financing and building the expressway, and will maintain and operate it during the concession period.

The Public-Private-Partnership arrangement under which the project is contracted, allows private investors to own infrastructure projects for a given period to recoup their funds before ceding the ownership to the State.

Moja Expressway, a subsidiary of CRBC, will operate the road for 27 years to recoup the money through toll fees.

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