THE Kenya National Highways Authority plans to expand the Athi River Inter-change to Machakos turnoff section of Mombasa road into a dual carriageway. Works are set to start once the tendering process is completed. Financing agreement for expanding the 21-kilometre stretch has been secured as part of government efforts to improve basic facilities.
A report by the Highways Authority says the project will ensure faster movement of goods and passengers and reduce accidents along the corridor. Meanwhile, the authority plans to extend the dualling of the road to Konza City to accommodate an expect- ed rise in the traffic volume following the launch of the ICT Centre at Konza.
The Konza City, touted as Africa's first Silicon Valley, has attracted investors from across the world and a smooth road network is expected to facilitate trans- portation to the hub. Mombasa road dual car- riage terminates at Athi River interchange. Roads improvement in the region has triggered a boom in real estate sector as key projects sprout at Mavoko and other parts of Mombasa road.
Preliminary designs show an interchange to be constructed at the Machakos turnoff to allow for smooth flow of traffic to Kitui, Nai- robi and Mombasa. Separately, details of engineering designs for the construction of the Mombasa Southern By-pass have been launched as the govern- ment moves to decongest the Mombasa island. The Southern By-pass will be constructed between Miritini, through Mwache and Tsunza Peninsula be- fore proceeding to Kibun- dani point at which it will join the Mombasa to Lunga Lunga highway.
"We want to ensure traffic congestion at Mombasa island is addressed," KenHa Director General Meshack Kidenda has said. A 16.2 kilometre link road from Mwache to Kipevu Container terminal is also at the design stage. He said Mombasa port is the hub of freight trans- portation in East Africa and there is need to design roads that will reduce congestion for faster movement of trucks. Containers are expected to be delivered efficiently to Nairobi, Western Kenya and neighbouring nations that rely on the port for imports/exports.