Japan to finance design of Likoni Bridge
The Ministry of Transport has secured the services of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the design of the bridge across the Likoni channel.
The design, expected to be out in March 2017, is expected to ease congestion at the Likoni ferry crossing.
The ferry on average moves 300,000 people and 6,000 cars daily.
A survey team from JICA is already in the country with the first phase of the design expected to be complete by July.
Financing for the actual construction work will be determined after the completion of the survey,” Transport Principal Secretary John Mosonik said.
The Likoni ferry has been the only crossing linking Mombasa island with the south coast but has suffered from inefficiency over the years leading to congestion at the channel.
Cases of ferries stalling have been on the rise with questions being raised about the efficiency of the ferry service. In January Kenya Ferry Services Managing Director Hassan Musa was fired days after President Uhuru Kenyatta toured the Likoni ferry.
The government has over the years toyed with the idea of constructing a bridge but has been unable to secure a partner to finance the project. In 2012, former President Mwai Kibaki had also called suggest the construction of a tunnel across the channel, but that idea was deemed not be viable.
The grant for the design of the Mombasa Gate Bridge by JICA comes as a shot in the arm for the government in an effort of providing a seamless link between the North and South Coast.
In 2014, The Japanese ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry had conducted a pre feasibility study for the bridge project that showed there was great potential the bridge would solve the traffic challenges.
“The project when realized, would enhance Mombasa’s function as a gate way city,” Mr Mosonik said.
The construction of the bridge is also expected to boost tourism at the South Coast that had been affected.
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