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Balala: Expressway will attract tourists

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala had lauded the Jomo Kenya International Airport (JKIA)/ Westlands Expressway, indicating the road has the capacity to attract tourists to the country.

He spoke on Tuesday after joining his colleagues including Transport CS James Macharia, Industrialization’s CS Betty Maina, and Devolution’s Eugene Wamalwa in touring and inspecting the construction works.

“Infrastructure builds a nation, it also develops and expands the GDP and that is why investment in infrastructure has been key. This infrastructure is key for people to come here and spend 24 hours during their layover so that they do not waste time at the airport and they can come into town and spend money,” said Balala.

Macharia revealed the the 27km road will be ready for use by February next year, which is more than 10 months before the scheduled date.

“Let Kenyans know that this landmark project will be completed by the end of this year and then it can be tested for at least two months before it is opened for public use,” he said.

The project, done by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), links the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to the Nairobi-Nakuru highway is already more than 15 percent complete.

“The contractor has reduced the completion time and we are excited. This will be a game-changer once complete,” said the CS.

Wamalwa praised the project, reiterating his Colleague Macharia’s sentiment that it will indeed be a gamechanger once complete.

He specifically noted the expected completion time which he said was commendable and once it is ready for use, will make Nairobi more attractive to tourists and investors.

Kenyans will have to pay to use the Sh60 billion road project when it is complete.

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has previously clarified that a Chinese firm, which will build the 27.1 km road linking the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to Nairobi-Nakuru highway, will operate the road for 27 years before handing it over to the State.

A section of the road from Mlolongo all the way to NextGen Mall, a distance of 18.2 kilometres and which is ongoing, will be a flatbed road, while the section from Nextgen Mall through the City-Centre to St Marks church, covering 8.2 kilometres, will be elevated.