A major transformation will take place in Mombasa following the investment in several infrastructural development projects which are set to market the county as an internationally recognized island.
The ongoing construction and upgrade of infrastructural projects worth billions of shillings by the national government is aimed at boosting tourism activities and uplifting the coastal economy.
Among the top mega projects ongoing in the county are the Sh.4.5 billion Makupa Bridge, the Sh. 16 billion Changamwe interchange and the Sh. 24 billion Mombasa southern bypass.
The Makupa Bridge is a historic project where the government of Kenya with GOK funds has put an investment of Sh.4.5 billion to make sure a number of objectives are achieved.
The bridge is 457 meters long and has approaches from the mainland about 600 meters and also the other side of the island about 400 meters.
There are also provisions for pedestrians and bicycles and the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) line.
The project has been under construction since April 2021 and was scheduled to complete in April 2022 but has been delayed for extra four months as it is set to be commissioned in July by the president upon completion.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said a lot of people used to get stuck in traffic jams for about an hour or more just to cross the crossway.
The government has now opened just one side of the bridge and the jam has disappeared.
Macharia noted that the bridge is currently 85 per cent complete and they will make sure the 15 per cent remaining is completed within one month.
“In terms of tourism Mombasa will achieve a different status; we will be able to market the city as an internationally recognized island. By doing this bridge water will be flowing around the island of Mombasa,” said Macharia.
He said the transformation is not just in Changamwe but the whole city in terms of accessibility.
He added that every two weeks there are inspections from the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) team and the Regional Commissioner (RC).
On the other hand, the Mwache Bridge is part of package two of the Miritini-Kibundani road; it starts from Mwache to Mteza and is a total of about nine kilometers.
“This is a major link as it will not only help people of that area but will bring development to the whole country,” he said.
“In regards to the setting up of the special economic zone in the area where 200, 000 people will be employed. The Mwache to Mteza road is very important as without it, the special economic zone will not be possible. We are very keen to ensure this project is completed as quickly as possible,” added Macharia
He noted that upon inspection, the road is now 56 per cent complete; Mwache Bridge is at 90 per cent complete.
According to the CS, people across the bridge used to take five hours to walk to Miritini; now they can just walk for five minutes across the bridge.
“We are happy with the progress of this project which is done in collaboration with the Japanese government and a Japanese company called Fujita. We are satisfied with what we saw; the project will cost us about Sh.24 billion,” he added.
Another project is the Changamwe interchange which is part of the project from Mombasa to Kwa Jomvu lot one and then lot two from Kwa Jomvu to Mariakani.
The lot one which is Mombasa to Kwa Jomvu is the interchange which is 95 per cent complete.
What is outstanding is the bridge which is connected from the airport. The CS said that they have been assured by the contractor that within one month both the interchange and the bridge from the airport will be complete.
The project from Kwa Jomvu to Mombasa city is about Sh. 8.5 billion and is expected to open up access to the town.
Macharia said that once completed, there will be creation of more jobs, many tourists will flock in and all the hundreds of beds will be filled up because people will see the benefits and enjoyment of coming to Mombasa.
“We shall make sure the ecosystem around this area is improved; in addition to the bridge the contractor will do a lot of dredging on the site and then beautify it and make sure people can come on picnics,” he added.
In terms of regional connectivity, the CS said that they are connecting Tanzania from Bagamoyo all the way to Malindi. Two lots have started, one from Nyali Bridge to Mtwapa and another lot from Mtwapa to Kilifi.
By Chari Suche