Nairobi airport railway plans to connect JKIA to the city reach tender stage


Perennial traffic jams have turned the once swift journey to and from Nairobi’s international airport into a nightmare, often compelling departing passengers to leave hours before their flights only to be sure to beat the jam and avoid missing their flights, while arriving passengers are stuck in traffic instead of enjoying a refreshing cup of Kenya’s finest tea or coffee in their hotel.

Admittedly, much is being done by the government of President Kibaki to address the traffic paralysis Nairobi has been suffering from in recent years, but court cases are delaying the construction of the crucial ‘Southern Bypass’ and with the planned ‘double decker’ from the point of entry to the city proper from the airport across the city centre to Waiyaki Way only see construction start next year, it will take some considerable time before relief can be expected for Nairobians and their visitors.

Kenya Railways has now completed their plans to start the tender process on the long expected rail link between the city and the international airport, which is undergoing major expansion at present and has another phase with a second runway and a new mega terminal in the works. Estimated to cost up to 6 billion Kenya Shillings, this year’s budget line for the project is nearly 1.5 billion KShs already, enough to kick start the required processes to get the project underway. Construction time is estimated to take at least two years from the moment the tender process is completed and contracts have been signed, subject of course to none of the above being challenged in court or to the procurement authority over process or other issues.

Creating infrastructure, in particular rehabilitating cross country roads, building bypasses and cross city highways, has been a hallmark of the Kibaki presidency and when complete will have catapulted Kenya firmly into the new millennium after decades of neglect, when successive governments stood almost frozen vis a vis such future looking development projects. Watch this space as a new Nairobi emerges as the capital of a new Kenya.