Investors in tourism and transport sectors are upbeat over ongoing construction of roads and bridges connecting Mombasa's South Coast and North Coast, opening up the entire region to brisk business.
Construction of the Sh28 billion phase two and three of the Dongo Kundu bypass is set to start in October and has been described by various players as a game changer.
The project, also referred to as the Southern Bypass, aims at easing traffic snarl-ups at Likoni Ferry and decongesting the port and town.
It will also link up with the main corridors; the Nairobi-Mombasa, Mombasa-Malindi and Mombasa-Lunga Lunga highways.
Kenya Tourism Federation chairman Mohamed Hersi, Mombasa Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry KNCCI) branch chairperson Rukia Rashid and Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa managing director Bobby Kamani welcomed the building of the new road.
Kuldip's Touring Company director Ishpal Oberoi said the bypass will ease traffic and movement of people and goods to the South Coast.
Work on the Sh24 billion 9km Mwache-Mteza dual carriageway, with two overseas bridges of 600m, 1,440m and a 660m viaduct, will start next month, Kenya National Highways Authority director-general Peter Mundinia said. The project is scheduled to take 48 months.
Speaking during the start of the fifth Africa Engineering Week in Mombasa last week, Mr Mundinia said construction of the 7km Mteza-Kibundani Road (phase three of Dongo Kundu), at a cost of Sh4 billion, will also start next month and will take 24 months.
“The blue economy is about exploiting ocean resources such as fishing. These new linkages will connect the port and Special Economic Zones, attracting investments in fish processing and other specialised sectors for the export market. The zones are key to realisation of the big four industrialisation goals,” he said.
A Special Economic Zone is set to be established at Dongo Kundu, with the Kenya Ports Authority affirming that the first berth of a new free port will be built soon.
On Sunday, Mr Mundinia told a meeting organised by the Institution of Engineers of Kenya, which aimed at harnessing the blue economy for accelerated growth, that the 428km Lamu-Garsen-Malindi-Mombasa-Lunga Lunga project has been prioritised.
The Lamu-Garsen Road is being tarmacked while the Malindi-Lunga Lunga Road will be expanded to a transnational highway.
Structures on road reserves on the Malindi-Lunga Lunga highway have already been demolished in readiness for the upgrade, which will also ease transport between Kenya and Tanzania.
The 2.6km Changamwe-Mombasa Airport-Port Reitz road has already been upgraded to a dual carriageway at a cost of Sh2.7 billion.