New roads boost coastal tourism

New roads boost coastal tourism
By EUNICE MURATHE
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The completion of new roads in Mombasa have eased traffic flow and movement in the resort city, boosting tourism and business.

Travel time to and from the Mombasa International Airport and Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) terminus from the central business district has reduced.

The opening of phase one of Dongo Kundu bypass has provided an alternative route to the airport and Miritini SGR terminus.

It now takes less than 30 minutes from Mombasa town to the SGR station.

Tourists and travellers going to the airport spend about 20 minutes on the road, compared to earlier when the journey took about an hour.

BOOST TO TOURISM

Tour operators, taxi drivers and other players have lauded the government for infrastructural development, saying it is a boost to tourism and has created a good business environment.

The motorists now prefer the Dongo Kundu bypass to avoid the Makupa Causeway, which has often delayed passengers heading to Mombasa west including Mikindani, Moi International Airport, Jomvu and Miritini, due to traffic jam mainly caused by trucks taking cargo from Mombasa port.

The first phase of the Sh11 billion Dongo Kundu bypass was opened for public use in May.

The road runs from Mombasa Port’s second terminal and joins the Mombasa-Nairobi highway at Bonje near Mazeras.

Remy Mahugu, a taxi operator, said the new road has reduced operational costs and time taken.

GREAT ACHIEVEMENT

“It takes 15 minutes from Changamwe Shell to Mazeras, a journey that previously used to take more than an hour. It is even faster when dropping a passenger at the SGR terminus which now takes 10 minutes,” Mr Mahugu said.

Kenya Bay Beach Hotel director Jaswinder Kalsi said the ongoing infrastructure projects will boost the number of tourists coming to the port city.

“Another great achievement by our progressive government. Now you can get to the SGR station in Miritini from Kenya Bay Hotel located in the North Coast in less than 45 minutes to catch the early morning train back to Nairobi, via the scenic New Kipevu West Road,” he said.

Kenya Tourism Federation chairman Mohamed Hersi said the completion of the three phases of the Sh11 billion Dongo Kundu bypass will turn the fortunes of the tourism industry at South Coast.

“Once the connecting bridge happens that will be a real game-changer and will connect Mombasa to South Coast and Tanzania. The Miritini interchange is almost done as well which means in future motorists from Nairobi will simply take the interchange to Mwache and Tsunza bridges to cross to Diani,” he said.

MAJOR SUCCESS

Matatu Owners Association Coast co-ordinator Salim Mbarak said the completion of the Kipevu West road was a major success, but lamented that they are not allowed to use it. “We only use it when there is a crisis at Kibarani,” he said.

In phase two, an 8.9km road between Mwache Junction and Mteza will be built while the third phase will see the construction of a 6.9km road between Mteza and Kibundani, linking the highway to the Likoni-Lunga Lunga road, where there will be an interchange.

Further, two bridges will be constructed: one at Mwache (900 metres long) and another at Mteza (1.4km long).