, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 14- The government through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure has kicked off the design for the construction of the Mombasa Gate Bridge.
The Ministry says the Survey team arrived on Monday to start their work, of which the first phase will be conducted until July this year while the second phase will go up to February 2017.
“The design study commences on 14th March, 2016 and the final report and designs will be ready by end of March 2017,” Infrastructure Principal Secretary Eng John Mosonik said.
However the financing for the actual construction work will be determined after the completion of the Survey.
The Mombasa Gate Bridge will offer an alternative passage to the Likoni Ferry, operated by the Kenya Ferry Service that is currently the only available crossing between Mombasa Island and the South Coast.
For many years, the idea of building either a bridge across the channel has been floated but implementation of the same has been put off due to various reasons, foremost among them being lack of funds.
The ferry experiences congestion with estimates giving an average of 300,000 persons and 6,000 vehicles crossing per day.
“The channel between the Mombasa Island and the Southern Coast, will serve as the access to the port of Mombasa from the open sea. In light of these traffic volumes and which is projected to grow it was necessary for the government to explore an alternative crossing at this location, so as to provide a more reliable and efficient crossing,” Mosonik noted.
Provision of a permanent crossing will facilitate movement of goods and people between the Island and South Coast and beyond to Tanzania, reduce conflict between docking ships and ferries and decongest the Island by ensuring unlimited flow of traffic.
The long awaited project will also enhance the capacity of the port of Mombasa by providing an alternative access as well as spur socio-economic development in the region especially the South Coast
The design of the bridge is being co-financed by Kenyan government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The Likoni ferry started operating in 1937.