Construction of the Mombasa-Jomvu superhighway is set to kick off after the Sh6.5 billion contract was awarded, Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) Director General Peter Mundinia has said.
Third China Engineering Company has been awarded the tender and will construct the 10 kilometre road that will expand the current single-two roadway into a dual carriageway with six lanes in 30 months.
Mr Mundinia said the road once complete will ease transportation of cargo from the port of Mombasa to Nairobi and neighbouring countries of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“We will also provide non-motorised transport network and adjacent truck parking areas including service lanes to improve accessibility to surrounding business areas and port related activity centres such as Container Freight Stations (CFSs),” said Mr Mundinia.
He spoke on Tuesday when members of KeNHA board led by the chairman Erastus Mwongera inspected construction works on Dongo Kundu bypass.
The project, which is phase one of turning the 41.6 kilometre Mombasa to Mariakani road into a dual carriageway, is funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the government.
At the same time, Mr Mundinia said KeNHA was waiting for bids for the construction of phase two and three of the Dongo Kundu bypass.
The first phase, the Kipevu 11-kilometre stretch between Mombasa port and Miritini is 70 per cent complete, Mr Mwongera said.
Early this month, the KeNHA advertised for the tender for construction of phases two and three of the project after the government secured funds.
Phase two of the project is 8.9 kilometres between Mwache Junction and Mteza, while phase three is the 6.9 kilometres between Mteza and Kibundani, linking the highway with the Likoni-LungaLunga road.
“We expect that the bids will be out on August 23rd after which we will do the evaluation and award the contract. The entire bypass will cost about Sh39 billion and will be complete in four years because most of the works will be done in the ocean,” said Mr Mundinia.
The 26-kilometre Dongo Kundu road linking Mombasa-Nairobi highway with Likoni-Lunga Lunga road is also referred to as the Southern bypass and seen as the solution to the perennial problem of congestion at the Likoni ferry, which is blamed for underdevelopment of the south coast.
Over 300,000 people and 5,000 vehicles use the channel each day, which has overwhelmed the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) with the five ferries breaking down frequently, resulting to delays.