The Athi River-Namanga-Arusha road is part of an important commercial and transport corridor serving both Kenya and Tanzania. It is important for the regions' integration and was identified as priority within the EAC Road Network. It is identified as Project Corridor No. 5 that runs from Tunduma in Southern Tanzania, to Moyale in Northern Kenya and onwards to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The corridor is also part of the Trans African Highway No. 9, running from Cape Town in South Africa to Cairo in Egypt. The main objective of the project is to support regional integration through the facilitation of transport, trade, tourism and socio-economic development of the area within the route and contribute to poverty reduction.
The section of the road between Athi River and Namanga is 136 kilometres long and links Tanzania and Kenya through the international border at Namanga. It traverses Machakos and Kajiado counties of Kenya. It begins at Athi River town at the interchange with Mombasa road (A109) and runs South through Kitengela, Isinya, Kajiado trading centers and continues up to Namanga Border with Tanzania.
The road has been aptly improved to international trunk road standards with 7 metres carriageway and 2 metres shoulders. Climbing lanes have been provided in steep sections to enhance the level of service and improve safety.The works have included construction of service roads at Athi River, Kitengela, Isinya, Illbassil and Namanga Towns. This has ensured separation of through traffic, thereby reducing traffic accidents greatly. The road has also provided non-motorised traffic facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and hand carts at the trading centres. In addition, there is adequate street lighting to improve visibility.
The works on the corridor also included construction of one stop border post at Namanga which is ongoing.
With the construction of this road, travel time has reduced on various sections of the road by over 60%; many investors in road transport have put public transport vehicles on the road indicating less operating costs. Investments in real property have risen significantly along the road corridor and pollution levels in terms of dust have also drastically reduced making driving comfortable and convenient.
In addition this network links communities, supports balanced regional development and plays a vital if often-unacknowledged role in the success of our economy.