South Coast bypass – finally some good news

NEW BYPASS ROAD FROM NAIROBI HIGHWAY TO SOUTH COAST SET FOR START IN LATE 2014

(Posted 26th January 2014)

Approximate new time frames were given yesterday by the Kenyan government for the long overdue bypass road to the South Coast, which is due to connect the international airport in Mombasa as well as the Nairobi to Mombasa highway with Ukunda and Diani. According to information published in the Kenya Gazette, eviction notices have now been served and will be implemented, alongside financial compensation, as soon as possible.

Presently all such traffic has to cross the busy port entrance as the Likoni channel by ferry which has been a constant thorn in the side of in particular the tourism industry. Besides the ‘transit’ traffic congesting the city of Mombasa, it also confronts visitors often with uncollected garbage and has of late exposed the soft underbelly of security in the Likoni area where radicals have regularly caused havoc with demonstrations and riots. Ferry problems, a more frequent occurrence than anyone cares for, have often resulted in tourists missing their flights or arriving guests taking half a day and more to reach their resorts leading to complaints and demands for compensation, issues any destination can do without.

Information received speaks of the design for the new road to be in the final stages before tenders can then be published. Construction, optimistically and excluding any further court challenges over the upcoming compulsory acquisition of land, should then start by the last quarter of this year with a completion date some 4 years down the proverbial road.

Meanwhile have South Coast tourism stakeholders also added an expansion of the Ukunda aerodrome on their list of demands to government vis a vis improved infrastructure, in addition to proposals to provide sidewalks along the busy Diani Beach road with sufficient street lighting and regular police patrols to improve the visitor experience for tourists coming to this part of the Kenyan coast. Light at the end of the tunnel or the sun finally shining on this long in the making new road project – time will tell so keep watching this space.

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