At least 19,000 motorists are currently forced to wade through the rough terrain between Mombasa town and Mariakani due to the ongoing dualing of the busy highway.
Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) had earlier predicted that the single-lane highway would experience traffic snarl-ups that would last for hours on end.
However, the situation has turned worse as long stretches of the busy road have been under construction since 2015 and ha not been tarmacked.
Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) conducted by KeNHA indicates that vehicle speed averages between 10-30km/hr across the road corridor.
“During peak hours, it takes an average of 3-6 hours to travel a distance of 16KM from Miritini into the Mombasa CBD,” read part of the assessment.
To cap it off, the dust being kicked up by the thousands of vehicles prompted to go off the tarmacked road at various sections of the busy highway unprecedently pollute the area.
The dualing of the major highway has been riddled with challenges from its early days.
In 2015, the Highway Authority ordered the contractor to close a diversion and instead construct it to the required standards as it proved impassable during the rainy season.
At the time, hundreds of commuters, including truck drivers and tourists, would spend their nights in the cold and faulted the contractor for doing a shoddy job.
The project road is approximately 41kms and forms part of the 500km Nairobi-Mombasa highway that also includes part of the Northern Corridor connecting the Kenyan Coast with the neighboring countries of Sudan, Uganda, and Rwanda.
It further turns in a northerly direction through Changamwe, Miritini, and Mazeras before terminating shortly after the Mariakani Weighbridge.
Over the years, the road has been faced with challenges of a rapid increase in traffic volumes, including light vehicles and heavy trucks.
It is now being expanded into a six-lane highway and is expected to largely decongest the city upon completion.