• More than 300,000 people and 6000 vehicles cross the channel daily.
• The footbridge project has started at Liwatoni in Mombasa Island.
The pedestrian traffic congestion at the ferry crossing channel could end in November after the construction of the Likoni floating bridge.
Work on the Sh1.7 billion footbridge will be completed in four months. The new crossing channel links Mombasa island to the mainland to the south.
The project is being done by China Road and Bridge Corporation through the Kenya National Highways Authority. The bridge starts at Liwatoni in Mombasa Island.
Site engineer Mohammed Jalam said the bridge deck will compromise 529m long approaches on both sides of the floating span and has a waiting bay for pedestrians.
“The floating bridge will strictly be used by pedestrians and the cyclists, all the motorists will continue to use the ferry services,” Jalam said.
Based on the design of the bridge, he said, there is an estimated 150-metre allowance for the passage of ships.
“The bridge will have an opening mechanism that will help the ships to pass through as the pedestrians wait at the waiting bay until it passes and a closing mechanism which will allow the pedestrians to proceed with the journey to their next destination,” Jalam said.
Evans Momanyi - director of Sakawa Agencies Limited, a sub-contractor of the project, said construction of the causeway and a holding bay is set to be completed by the end of August.
“We have mobilised our workers and the necessary equipment to ensure the project is delivered on time,” Momanyi said.
He said the bridge will be connected by pins and hinges and guard rails will be installed on either side of the deck to ensure pedestrian safety.
Speaking during the inspection tour of the projec Coast regional commissioner John Elungata said this is the first footbridge to be built at the Likoni crossing channel with an aim to end congestion.
He said the envisioned footbridge will complement the existing ferry services to streamline safe passage for pedestrians.
“The project will create the shortest route linking Mombasa and mainland south and onward to the neighbouring Kwale county thus reducing the link distance and cutting on time spent on queuing to board the ferries,” Elungata said.
Elungata noted that the national government has an objective to ease the pressure on overcrowded Likoni ferries during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He urged residents to conform to the new way of life and adhere to all the public regulations in place to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
More than 300,000 people and 6,000 vehicles cross the channel every day using the ferry services.
Edited by R.Wamochie