The historic Makupa causeway in Mombasa will be demolished and a bridge built in its place, the Kenya National Highways Authority said yesterday.
The causeway, which divides Tudor and Port Reitz creeks, was built in the 1920s but environmental studies now show that it has had a negative impact on marine life.
Kibarani dumpsite has made matters worse as toxic waste, including heavy metals, seep into the Indian Ocean, resulting in drying up of mangrove trees and death of fish and other marine life.
The structure is one of three road links between the island and the mainland, the others being Nyali bridge and Kipevu causeway.
Construction of the bridge will be part of the expansion of the Mombasa-Jomvu road into a dual carriageway and will cost Sh6.5 billion, KeNHA regional manager Jared Makori said.
“There have been environmental concerns. The bridge will be a little longer than the 120-metre structure,” Mr Makori said on the phone.
He added that while the bridge will also accommodate the old railway line, KeNHA was in talks with Kenya Railways on how to include the standard gauge railway in the project.
The tender for construction of the 10 kilometre road from Mombasa to Jomvu was awarded in June to Third China Engineering Company and work is expected to be over in 30 months.
The contractor is mobilising equipment to begin work, the KeNHA official said.
Funded by the African Development Bank and the government, the project is the first phase of the expansion of the 41.6 kilometre Mombasa-Mariakani road.
In a recent interview, KeNHA Director-General Peter Mundinia said non-motorised transport network and truck parking areas would also be built, as well as service lanes to improve accessibility to surrounding business centres such as container freight stations.
“The road, once complete, will facilitate easy access to the port of Mombasa and facilitate freight transport originating from or destined for Nairobi and other inland regional cities,” he said.