Dongo Kundu bypass gets Sh8.4b share of budget allocation
PROJECT: Plans to speed up completion of the Dongo Kundu Southern bypass in Mombasa has moved a notch higher following allocation of Sh8.4 billion for the project in the Sh3.6 trillion budget for financial year 2021/2022.
However, experts warn there is still a long way from the finish line with the development of the project entering the highly technical phase two.
The second phase involves construction of three bridges crossing above Mwache, Mteza and Tsunza creeks as almost 60 per cent of the phase being done inside the ocean, making the project “highly technical.”
“Almost 60 per cent of this phase is bridges, we will literally be building inside the ocean,” said Howard Mmayi, Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) Coast Deputy Director.
It is at this phase, where construction of the 1.4 kilometre Mteza Bridge, arguably the longest bridge in Africa will be done, he added.
The total length of the three bridges is about 10 kilometres. Mteza Bridge is the longest at 1.4 kilometres, followed by Tsunza at 690 metres and Mwache at 660 metres.
Mmayi, however, envisioned that by the end of the next financial year when the budgeted Sh8.4 billion will have been utilised, the Tsunza Bridge under the package two will be ready for use.
“By the end of the next financial year, residents of the Tsunza area who used to travel almost beyond 30 kilometres to go to Mazeras, will now travel only five kilometres via the bridge to Mwache then Bonje and Mazeras,” he said.
The billions will also be used to do part of the road that is on the land. “But the part that runs on the ocean, we will be struggling to get the bridges done and that is a lot of work which will spillover into next year,” Mmayi added.
According to the director, the Sh8.4 billion will especially be pumped in the construction of the Tsunza Bridge whose earthworks are currently ongoing.
At the moment, he said the sub-surface technical part of the construction which includes piling, foundation building, and precasting of the bridge beams is going on.
“By just looking at the site, it is difficult to see the amount of work done for package two, but actually we have done a lot. We have cleared the bushes, we have heaved off the hills and more besides,” Mmayi said: “Because of the technicalities involved, the 1.4 kilometer Mteza bridge will take more time, the earliest it can be ready is 2023.”
He said package three which runs from Mteza to Kibundani interchange is almost complete, adding that currently the project is at the tail end and that in the next two months 70 per cent of the section will be tarmacked.