Tourists and motorists who have been enduring traffic jams on the Makupa causeway in Mombasa due to ongoing construction have something to smile about. This is after the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) revealed that the section would be completed in two months.
Construction of the stretch is part of the Sh6.5 billion Kwa Jomvu-Makupa Causeway project, which has taken two years, causing great inconvenience to motorists in Mombasa, including travellers to and from upcountry.
The Kibarani part of the road is being expanded to a six-lane highway and is set to boost tourism, ease movement of people and goods as well as improve efficiency at the port of Mombasa.
Traffic snarl-ups have become a part of life, with residents bearing the brunt.
But this may be a thing of the past after the KeNHA said the project is likely to be completed by end of August. The assurance was given to the Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade), which is among key stakeholders of infrastructure projects.
KenTrade chairman Suleiman Shahbal said the assurance from KeNHA is to complete the Changamwe roundabout to Saba Saba junction within the stipulated time.
“I was pleased that the director-general KeNHA promised to complete the project in the next two months. The cause of the delay is relocating utilities at the Changamwe round. The Makupa roundabout is being rebuilt with concrete,” said Mr Shahbal when he visited KeNHA boss Peter Mundinia.
“We have had it rough ever since these workers came to the site. We thought the construction was to take some months, but we were wrong. Operations along this road have been badly affected,” said Mr Steven Kamau, a motorist.
The delay was aggravated by a protest by workers, who early this year were complaining over payments.
The workers also raised concerns over their health when the coronavirus started to spread in the country.
For the better part of the year, the management was forced to deal with the issues raised by the workers, hence the delay.
The causeway is part of the larger Mombasa-Mariakani highway, whose construction was officially launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2018.