A new 11 Km road linking Mombasa port to the Mombasa-Nairobi Highway that is part of the wider Dongo Kundu bypass is complete. The road is expected to ease the evacuation of cargo from the port, as now trailers transporting cargo can enter the highway through Bonje, adjoining Mazeras without having to pass through Mombasa Island or Kibarani-an area known for monstrous traffic jams.
Speaking on the matter, Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) Coast Regional Director Jared Makori said that motorists would be allowed to use the first phase by the start of the coming week. He said that construction work had been completed and that KeNHA wanted to officially hand it over to the public for use.
The Dongo Kundu bypass is a project aimed at easing congestion within the island city of Mombasa by connecting South Coast to North Coast without having to pass through the island. Additionally, the bypass will provide an alternative route of entering South Coast (Likoni, Diani, Kwale, Lunga Lunga) without using the Likoni Ferry services.
The whole project consists of two more phases apart from the completed 11 km phase one. Phase two is an 8.9 km road between Mwache Junction and Mteza in Kwale County, while phase three is a 6.9 km road from Mteza to Kibundani in Kwale County which will provide a path from the Mombasa-Nairobi Highway to the Likoni-Lunga Lunga road.
The project has been funded courtesy of a 30-year sh36.9 billion loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) released in two phases; sh28.94 billion in 2012 and 11.8 in 2017. Traffic congestion and unpredictability of catching a ferry in time have often made operating in the South Coast region laborious. The bypass is hoped to improve the conditions.
On the other hand, the bypass is part of a bigger industrialisation plan at the coast region which will involve setting up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Dongo Kundu. Special economic zones are areas with special infrastructure and conditions for industry; tax and duty exemptions, work permit facilitation, protection and repatriation of profits to home countries for foreign investors, subsidised electricity, good transport networks etc. The ease of access to the port has made Dongo Kundu a prime candidate for the special economic zone.