The 824-metreLikoni floating bridge is only a temporary measure and will be brought down once the Mombasa Gate Bridge is completed in 2025, Transport CS James Macharia has said.
Macharia said the Sh1.9 billion bridge will be dismantled and set up in another area, like Lamu, where it will serve other Kenyans.
“Its life span is at least 50 years,” Macharia said.
The CS said the Sh210 billion Mombasa Gate Bridge will be the permanent solution to the Likoni ferry crossing channel challenges. He spoke after inspecting works on the floating bridge. It is 92 per cent complete.
The floating bridge was mooted as an emergency intervention following concerns about transmission of the Covid-19, especially at the Likoni crossing channel.
An average of 300,000 people and 6,000 vehicles cross the channel daily.
“In March, we determined that 90 per cent of transmission is by the public transport sector and Mombasa was a hotspot because of the Likoni ferry,” Macharia said.
The Mombasa Gate Bridge will be 70 metres high to allow for ships to pass underneath.
“The bridge is being designed as we speak. The design will be complete by June 2021,” the CS said.
Construction is scheduled to start in December 2021 and will take four years to complete.
The government is collaborating with the Japanese through Japan International Corporation Agency for the project.
The Likoni floating bridge will be operated by the Kenya Ports Authority and the Kenya National Highways Authority.
Although the floating bridge will be primarily for pedestrians, Macharia said ambulances will be allowed to pass through in emergencies cases.
“This is a massive transfer of technology,” Macharia said.
He said cyclists might be allowed to use the floating bridge subject to an agreement by the management committee.