The government has received Sh29 billion from the Japanese government to construct a 20km road that will link the island of Mombasa to South Coast and provide an alternative route to the Likoni Ferry. The Mombasa Port Area Road development project is the largest single project funded by external lenders costing even more than the Thika Superhighway.
It will feature a road that will branch off from the main Mombasa to Nairobi (A109) road and traverse southward through Mwache to the Dongo Kundu Industrial Area before joining the Mombasa-Tanzania road at Kibundani. Finance Minister Njeru Githae signed the exchange notes for the project with the Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Toshihisa Takata at the Treasury yesterday. “Once completed, the project will significantly decongest the city of Mombasa by providing an alternative option to the Likoni Ferry by linking the main land with South Coast,” Githae said during the signing. “It will further complement the ongoing expansion of the Mombasa Port, and therefore contribute to higher economic development in the country.”
Roads minister Franklin Bett, who was present, asked for the process of getting the project underway to be fast-tracked by both government's technical teams. The minister said consultants to carry out detailed designs for the project will be advertised soon. “We already have preliminary designs,” said Bett who requested land owners to cooperate with the Kenya National Highway Authority as it procures land for the road.
The road is expected to traverse a swampy area and will feature four bridges one measuring over a kilometre long across the sea. The project will make it easier to get onto South Coast where many exclusive resorts are located especially in Ukundani. It will also connect the new container terminal near Moi International Airport with the Northern transport corridor and the South Coast. “The project is to construct Mombasa Southern Bypass (19.8km) and Kipevu Link road (5.7km),” Ambassador Takara said. “To ease the heavy traffic in Mombasa, which is the objective of this project, it is essential to connect the southern coast of Mombasa and the northern corridor.”
The Japanese also funded the construction of the New Nyali Bridge which connects the island of Mombasa to the North Coast. The global head of the Japanese Agency for International Cooperation (JICA), which is funding the project, will be in the country on June 2 when he will also sign a grant for the expansion of Ngong Road from All-Saints Cathedral to Nakumatt Junction at Dagoretti Corner into a six-lane highway, Githae said.