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Sh45 billion road will be ready on time despite corona hiatus

BUSINESS
By Philip Mwakio | December 7th 2020
A section of Dongo Kundu bypass in Mombasa County that is under construction. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

The second phase of the Sh45 billion Dongo Kundu bypass over the Indian Ocean will be completed by 2024 as earlier planned.

This is despite interruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the contractor has said. 

The 18-kilometre highway, to connect Mombasa and Kwale counties as well as southern Tanzania, is expected to ease the cost of transport and boost trade.

The contractor, Fujita Mitsubishi Corporation, said the project was slowed down by the outbreak of Covid-19 that saw them send away workers in ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of the virus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December.

Project manager Lau Deng said it was about 40 per cent complete.

The bypass will include construction of three bridges, two of which will cross over the Indian Ocean at Tsunza Peninsula.

“The transport corridor will still be completed in the stipulated 48-month period (four years). We were slowed down by effects of Covid-19 pandemic but we have again picked up the works and hope to deliver this project as earlier planned,” Deng said on Saturday when senior government officials toured the site.

The government delegation was led by Senior Director Presidential Delivery Unit Patrick Ngatia, Government Spokesman Col (rtd) Cyrus Oguna and Coast Regional Coordinator John Elungata.

Oguna noted that the Dongo Kundu bypass will de-congest Mombasa and ease the movement of cargo and people between Mombasa and the South Coast region.

The road will also boost trade between Kenya and southern Tanzania currently relying on ferries at the Likoni Channel. The bypass is an all-weather dual carriageway.

“The project will also involve construction of an interchange at the Likoni-Lunga Lunga highway,” said Deng.

The bypass will have a 1.4-kilometre long Mteza Bridge, Mwache Bridge that will be 660 metres long and Tsunza viaduct bridge, over land, that will be 690 metres long.

Oguna said the government has invested heavily in improving infrastructure at the Coast where there are more government funded projects than anywhere else in the country.

In an earlier interview, Kenya National Highways Authority Director General Peter Mundinia said the highway will reduce the cost and time used to travel between Mombasa and South Coast.

It will also serve the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone (SEZ), said Mundinia.

Mwache Bridge will land on the Tsunza peninsula in Kwale County and connect with the Mteza Bridge that will complete the South Coast mainland connection.

“With these mega projects taking off, those in and around Mombasa and Kwale counties will enjoy eased transport and communication as they will take less time to move from one point to the other,” Mundinia said.

The State estimates that the SEZ around the Dongo Kundu area will create about 300,000 job opportunities.

On the Covid-19 pandemic, Oguna called on Kenyans not to lower their guard by adhering to all guidelines given by the Ministry of Health.

“I contracted the virus but I recovered. Covid-19 is real. Please, let’s observe health protocols,” Oguna said.

Elungata said the Dongo Kundu bypass, also known as Mombasa Southern Bypass, will decongest the Likoni channel, said to have slackened the growth of South Coast region.

“The government has shown its commitment in ensuring its citizens live in harmony and conduct their businesses with as much comfort as possible. There are close to 455 projects initiated and supported by the national government in this region alone,” said Elungata, who chairs the Regional Development Implementation Committee.

Covid 19 Time Series

 

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