Kenya awards Chinese firm $5m contract to build dual way on its 'highway to hell' responsible for hundreds of deaths

Frequent accidents on the dreaded 22-kilometre stretch have claimed dozens of lives and left scores of people maimed.

  • On Thursday, the highways authority announced that China Railway No. 10 has started preliminary work.
  • In December last year alone, more than 40 lives were lost along the stretch.

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has awarded China Railway No. 10 Company a multi-million contract to build the much-awaited Sobea-Salgaa-Mau Summit dual road on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway which has claimed hundred of lives.

On Thursday, the highways authority announced that China Railway No. 10 was doing some work on the stretch before construction begins by mid-May.

“The contractor has already started preliminary work ahead of the actual construction that will begin in May. The construction will be complete by May, 2019 ,”  said KeNHA's public relations officer Charles Njogu.

In December, the government announced that it would spend Sh500 million ($5m) in constructing the dual road, with an aim of curbing the accidents.

Frequent accidents on the dreaded 22-kilometre stretch have claimed dozens of lives and left scores of people maimed, prompting State's decision to turn it to a dual carriageway.

In December last year alone, more than 40 lives were lost along the stretch.

The notorious section stretches from Sobea, Salgaa, Migaa, Sachangwan and Mau Summit. It also includes Jolly Farm and Mkinyai areas.

“All procedures for the construction of the dual carriageway are complete and the works will begin by mid-May,” said Mr Njogu.

The project, according to KeNHA, will involve expansion of the notorious stretch between Sobea and Mau Summit, designing and construction of emergency runaway truck rumps, repair of guardrails and installation of warning and informative road signs.

The design will also provide for the construction of a lorry brake checking point with a capacity of 20 lorries to evaluate the braking systems of vehicles on the road.

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