Nairobi Expressway trials to commence with chosen few
Guided trials of the Nairobi Expressway will see a cross-section of members of the public sampling the utility as investors mull when to start recouping billions gobbled up by the project.
“As the contractor nears completion, and in preparation for the eventual opening of the road to the public, there will be guided trials to test the operation of the system that has been installed,” state agency, Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) said in a statement.
Ordinarily, roads are often open for public use before official commissioning, a tradition that the project contractor China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) will bypass, despite completion being four months ahead of schedule.
Selected for trials
“The trials involve select staff from KeNHA, contractors, and the project implementing company to mention but a few,” it added. Others will be drawn from government agencies such as the presidential Delivery Unit, Ministry of Transport, Office of the Government Spokesperson, and Moja Expressway, an affiliate of CRBC.
The road is expected to be opened to public traffic in the course of this month with Moja Expressway set to operate and maintain the road for 27 years to help recoup the money spent on building the Sh89 billion expressway by collecting toll fees.
The subsidiary will offer three modes of payment including electronic toll collection service, manual toll card, or cash. For electronic toll collection payment, travel points will be automatically deducted by infrared scanning of the pre-installed gadgets as the vehicle passes through the toll station.
Users will swipe at the toll stations and a fee will be deducted based on the distance covered. There will be no direct mobile transaction at the toll gates.
The gadget can be obtained from the Expressway Operations and Maintenance centre along Mombasa Road near Cabanas.
According to a Government Gazette notice, motorists will pay a fee of between Sh310 and Sh100 to use the new road. The charges will be dollar-based to cushion the operator from exchange rate losses, implying that the toll charges will increase if the shillings weaken.