Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta launched on Sunday the iconic Kshs70 billion ($588 million) Nairobi Expressway, following months of public trials.

The Nairobi Expressway ushers in a new way of building infrastructures through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, where a project is not financed through debt or government funds, according to a statement on the Office of The President’s website.

“As the first PPP road project in Kenya, the Nairobi Expressway marks the government’s pivot towards leveraging private capital to bridge our infrastructural deficit,” the president said.

The China Road and Bridge Corporation, which designed, financed and built the project, will maintain and operate the expressway during the concession period. The investment will be recouped by collecting toll charges.

The project was completed 18 months ahead of schedule.

The president said the investor will transfer the road to the government at the end of the concession period.

Kenyatta also commissioned the revamped Nairobi Eastern Bypass, which includes five new major vehicular crossings and six-lane dual carriageways at the busy sections of the road.

The president voiced optimism that the expressway and the bypass road will significantly address traffic gridlocks in Nairobi, estimated to cost the nation over Kshs5 billion ($42 million) annually in lost productivity time and wasted fuel.

(editing by Cleofe Maceda)