The Government has made an advance payment of Sh830 million for the upgrade of dilapidated Kibwezi-Mutomo-Kitui-Kabati-Migwani road.
It is now expected Exim Bank of China (EBC) will release Sh4.7 billion to the contractor, Messrs Sinohydro Corporation of China, for the immediate commencement of the works.
In a project status brief, Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) Director General Peter Mundinia said the total cost for upgrading the 350km road, which is part of the northern corridor extending to Meru and Isiolo, is Sh5.5 billion.
“Other site impediments, which included payment of county cess, relocation of services and land acquisition, are being addressed,” Mundinia said.
He said the contractor would now work without any hindrance.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto launched the mega project on December 6, last year in Mutomo market in Kitui South but it faced some logistical challenges.
Out of the Government’s advance payment portion of Sh840 million, only Sh388 million had been paid.
The commercial contract for the road was approved by the KeNHA board on February 2011 and forwarded to Exim Bank through the Treasury.