Work Set to Begin on Sh85bn Sea Bridge in Mombasa

Work Set to Begin on Sh85bn Sea Bridge in Mombasa

The much-awaited construction of Mombasa Gate Bridge – connecting Mombasa Island with South Coast – is expected to begin shortly as the Kenyan government seeks to replace a ferry service that began operations in 1937 and the recently-opened Liwatoni Floating Bridge.

This comes 18 months after Kenya signed a deal with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the provision of a development loan of up to Sh47 billion for the project.

Estimated to cost Sh85 billion, the 1.4km Mombasa Gateway Bridge, will connect Mombasa Island with South Coast – substituting the 84-year-old ferry service that suffers perennial breakdowns that delay traffic flow to and from Mombasa.

According to the Mombasa Gate Bridge City Masterplan, the project will begin in June 2021 with a completion date of June 2024 when the bridge and related roads will be put to use.

The starting date is, however, likely to be rescheduled considering that Kenya is yet to reveal the Japanese firm that will undertake the project as per the terms of the loan agreement.

The Mombasa Gate Bridge design calls for the erection of a cable stayed bridge that will support four traffic lanes – soaring 69-metres high at the mid-point to allow ample space for ships to pass underneath on their way into and out of the Kilindini harbour.

The bridge will consist of three spans supported by four piers on both the Likoni and Mombasa Island sides of the channel.

The main span – 660 metres long – will be supported by two piers mounted at the shallow seashore on Mombasa side and in front of the Zanzibar Palace Ruins on the Likoni side.

Side spans will be 330m long and will be anchored on 2 extra piers on either side.

The Mombasa Gate Bridge will start near King’orani Prison on Lumumba Road and will rise over the Mombasa Railway Station, then above Moi Avenue to the west of Canon Towers.

It will then traverse Archbishop Makarios Road to Ganjoni, turn right above Liwatoni and cross over Likoni Channel to get into the Likoni side at the ruins of the Sultan of Zanzibar Place near Puma Primary school.

The Mombasa Gate Bridge will then continue along the eastern shoreline of Mweza creek before descending and eventually touching down near the Javi la Wageni Primary School.

It will then proceed as a four-lane highway to cross Mtongwe Road at the Post Office before connecting to the Mombasa Southern Bypass at Ziwani on the border with Kwale County.

In total, the Mombasa Gate Bridge project will be a 13.2km development inclusive of approach roads.

According to a JICA feasibility study, the project will displace 1706 households occupying 725 plots amounting to 62.6 hectares of land. Likoni and Shika Adabu account for 73.8% of the affected plots and 76.8% of the total land to be acquired.

An estimated Sh9.4 billion will be spent to compensate the affected households.

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