Nairobi Expressway is set to be opened later this month and only selected motorists who work for the government and related agencies that are supporting the construction of the Nairobi expressway will be allowed to test the new elevated road.
Spokeswoman Jeanne May Ongiyo said that those selected will come from the Ministry of Transport, Presidential Delivery Unit, Office of the Government Spokesperson, Moja Expressway staff, patrol teams and some from the Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha).
“Yes we are currently only registering the people whom we have worked with, but we are not yet open to the public. These are the people who will get the priority to test the highway,” she said on Tuesday.
Moja Expressway, a subsidiary of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), will operate the road for 27 years to recoup through toll fees the money spent to build it. It said no other motorists will be allowed on the road until it is commissioned.
After the tests and once the road is commissioned, she said, the public will be guided on when and where to go for registration. Moja Expressway and Kenha are expected to start guided tests of the road and installed systems, including automated toll gates, in the coming weeks.
Motorists will pay between Sh100 and Sh1,550 to use the 27km Nairobi expressway once it starts operations, depending on the distance travelled and the size of the vehicle.
Ambulances, police and military vehicles will be exempt from paying the toll. Ms Ongiyo said there are three modes of payment – electronic toll collection (ETC), manual toll collection (MTC), and cash.
“At the moment, we do not have a mobile phone type of payment but we will revisit it later. Those paying cash do not need to register. Only those who want to install (the on-vehicle electronic payment device) are required to register.”
She said the reason drivers need to bring a copy of their logbook is for safety and to make sure that the car matches with the On-Board Unit (OBU).
“Once the OBU is installed, it cannot be transferred to another vehicle, hence the need for the logbook while registering.”
Companies will require a copy of the certificate of incorporation, company KRA PIN certificate, contact person’s ID card, vehicle logbook and a letter introducing the contact person for the service. The ETC service provided by Moja allows toll points to be electronically deducted through the pre-installed OBU, offering a nonstop road service. With the ETC card, motorists would need to pay a service charge of Sh1,000 and then buy toll points of at least Sh2,000, which will be deducted whenever they use the road but are only valid for one year.
But if a motorist chooses the Sh5,000 ETC card, they will not be charged a service fee and all the money will be used as toll points, which will also be deducted whenever they use the road but are only valid for one year.
The expressway, with 18.2km on the ground and 8.9km elevated, is a class A, four-lane dual carriageway with an initial design speed of 80km per hour. 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.
Motorcycles, bicycles, scooters and tuktuks will not be allowed to access the highway. Also prohibited are pedestrians and skaters. Others prohibited are wheelbarrows and handcarts.
Moja says motorists will not be allowed to make U-turns or reverse on the expressway, with drivers who miss their planned exit required to proceed to the next toll station to leave. Graffiti and scribbling on expressway property and setting up billboards without authorisation are also prohibited. Racecar drivers have not been spared, as any form of speed testing and racing is prohibited on the expressway.
“Rearing and herding livestock on and along the expressway as well as setting up stalls, parking, dumping waste and blocking ditches under the bridge are prohibited,” reads a notice from the company.
Motorists are also banned from driving on the emergency lane. Overloading is also not allowed and drivers with oversized loads must apply at the Expressway Plaza three days in advance.
Transport CS James Macharia confirmed that construction of the Sh89 billion expressway stood at 95 per cent in March.
NEWS COURTESY OF THE NATION NEWSPAPER