Construction of a four-lane dual carriageway connecting Arusha in Tanzania with Voi in southern Kenya is to begin in 2013.
The East Africa Community (EAC) is overseeing the $560 million project to provide the region's growing trade with a more efficient route to the port of Mombasa.
Beginning in the Sakina district on the slopes of Mount Meru in northern Arusha, the four-lane highway will cover the 50-km distance to Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) road junction. From there on, the roughly 160 km remaining will be upgraded with a two-lane highway.
Its route continues due east through Moshi and Himo before reaching the Tanzanian border town of Holili. Construction will be managed by the Kenyan government from Holili to Voi where the highway will link up with the Nairobi-Mombasa highway.
A 24-km stretch of the existing A23 route in Kenya between Mwatate and Voi, which is in poor condition, is currently under construction. Despite being part of the EAC-backed project, Kenyan received advance clearance to construct that section in a bid to fast-track the road's completion.