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Murkomen: We’ll use the lessons learnt to modernise our roads

The government says it is ready to incorporate lessons from partners to expand and modernise the country’s roads. Speaking on the sidelines of the Korea-Africa Infrastructure Forum in Seoul, Roads and Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen said highways are the enablers of logistics and efficient mobility. Mr Murkomen spoke during a meeting with Korea Expressway Corporation (KEC) President Ham Jin-Gyu.

“We discussed cooperation in areas in which the KEC has achieved success and gained expertise, including the framework for constructing and managing expressways and advanced technology for managing traffic,” Mr Murkomen said.

Mr Kim said good highways have been the engine of economic development for South Korea. In 2021, the Korean Overseas Infrastructure and Development Corporation showed interest in the multibillion-shilling Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway, whose tender was awarded to an American company last week.

Mr Murkomen, who accompanied President William Ruto the inaugural Korea-Africa Summit, toured the Korea Expressways Traffic Management Centre, a facility employing high technology to facilitate real-time monitoring of the entire expressway network.

“The system can detect traffic flow anomalies and initiate interventions. It communicates accurate traffic updates clock through various media channels,” the CS said.

In 2022, the government announced the rollout of the capital’s Sh6.5 billion smart traffic lights project, with the Kenya Urban Roads Authority tapping the services of Cheil Engineering Company Ltd and several other South Korean companies. The consortium will be tasked with implementing the first phase of the project, which also involves junction improvement. This is under a Sh548 million agreement.

The contractor will design the project, build a traffic management centre, provide assistance during bid evaluation, negotiation and supervision of detailed engineering as well as support the preparation of operations and maintenance.

The project seeks to ease congestion on city roads, with the system designed to allow for a longer period of traffic flow from the roads with most vehicles, a departure from the current time-based system, which mainly relies on marshals. Mr Murkomen also visited the six-eight-lane Godeok Grand Bridge, which is still under construction. It will be the longest cable-stayed concrete bridge in the world when completed. The project is funded largely by own-source revenue.

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