Kenya National Highways Authority has confirmed that construction of the 12km Miritini- Mwache (phase 1) road bypass is almost complete, with 70 percent of the work done.
The bypass is to be opened by December to reduce jam which is common at the Changamwe roundabout. It will also boost up the Coast region’s economy.
Kenya National Highways Authority director general Peter Mundinia said that there will be a three lane road on either side of the road from Changamwe to Mariakani.
Kenha board chairman Erastus Mwongera justified the heavy investment on the projects, saying for any country to develop, it must invest heavily on infrastructure.
He said it is prudent that the government borrows heavily as it has no capacity to do all the projects on its own.
“It is essential that we open infrastructure like roads, railways and ports. Since we don’t have [the required money], we must borrow, build the infrastructure, and Kenyans will do business and would be able to service those loans,” Mwongera said.
The road is crucial to the opening up of increased business opportunities which will in turn create more jobs and boost the economy.
The road connects Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Airports Authority through the Moi International Airport, Kenya Railways and the county governments of Kwale, Mombasa, Taita Taveta and Kilifi.
“It will also connect us with our neighbours on the south, Tanzania, and then join the Northern Corridor, which will facilitate transport of goods all the way to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Eastern DRC and South Sudan and Ethiopia,” Mwongera said.
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The Dongo Kundu project is set to create job opportunities for local young engineers who will go through a training programme designed by the board.
The second phase of the project is expected to start in May next year, and will take two more years.
Tenders will be submitted on August 22.
The project will open up the South Coast to rapid development and will see the longest bridge in East and Central Africa—1.44km—constructed at Mteza.
Another bridge and viaduct will be constructed at Mwache and will be 1.3km long.
“The whole essence is for Kenha to connect cities, nations and other institutions,” Mwongera said.
The chairman warned contractors on various road projects countrywide to stick to the timelines.
Failure to deliver the projects in time will result in possible fines or cancellation of the contracts, he said.
“Those on maintenance are not doing anything difficult other than patching and refilling. They are not dealing with any land issues or squatters. So we expect them to do those jobs very fast,” Mwongera said.
Local companies are doing maintenance works.