Road contractors face capacity test

Kenyan road contractors might be locked out of lucrative jobs to build the remaining sections of Ngong Road.

A tender by the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) in January for contractors to transform the Dagoretti Corner–Karen segment into a dual carriageway was abandoned after attracting firms that the authority says did not meet the required threshold to undertake the project.

Among the factors that disqualified the contractors, many of them local, were inadequate capacity to mobilise resources and the firms being already involved in other projects, which could have slowed delivery of the Ngong Road project.

Kura started the process again in March after revising the conditions that road contractors needed to meet. The bids closed Thursday and the authority will now start the selection process.

Initial process

“We wanted a contractor with capacity to mobilise resources fast and also deliver the project within stipulated timelines,” said Kura Chief Communications Officer John Cheboi. He added that the road is sensitive because of the huge population it serves that does not have alternative routes.

“In the initial process, we felt the contractors that had bid for the job would not be able to undertake the project and deliver as expected. Many of those that had bid were local and they are stretched with the number of road projects that they are currently undertaking,” said Mr Cheboi.

Another segment of the road between Prestige Plaza and Dagoretti Corner will be financed by Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) and is likely to be built by a Japanese firm.

Kura is waiting for necessary approvals from the Japanese Government as well as the selection of a contractor by Jica. Construction is expected to start around August and conclude by end of 2018.

The two segments between Dagoretti Corner and Karen Shopping Centre roundabout are are in addition to the ongoing expansion and dualling of the stretch between the Kenya National Library and Prestige Plaza.

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