Mombasa will regain its status as an island in the next one year following a plan by the government to build a Sh4.5 billion fixed bridge.
Speaking when he launched the construction of the Kibarani bridge yesterday, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the Makupa Causeway that turned Mombasa into a peninsula will be demolished in the next 12 months.
“Mombasa will regain its status as a big island city in East Africa. The bridge will bring back its glory and attract investors,” said the president.
In recent years, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has expressed concerns that the transport corridor, which stretches between Tudor and Port Reitz creeks, has damaged the island.
The causeway that links Mombasa to the Kenyan mainland was built by the colonial government in 1929. According to experts, its construction blocked waters from Tudor Creek from flowing freely to the island thus interfering with marine life.
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“Mombasa will truly become an island,” said Governor Hassan Joho, adding that the infrastructure projects will provide jobs for the youth.
Meanwhile, Mombasa residents will start using a Sh1.9 billion floating bridge from January next year, President Kenyatta has said.
“The contractor is doing final touches before the bridge is open to the general public,” said Uhuru, adding that the bridge will end perennial congestion at the Likoni ferry.
The 800-metre long bridge that stretches from Liwatoni to Ras Bofu will have a 150-metre section in the middle that opens to allow movement of ships in and out of the port.
Joho said the bridge was constructed in less than five months after Uhuru convened a crisis meeting due to overcrowding at the ferry.
“The president directed that a permanent and sustainable solution be found on ferry congestion. Here we are today witnessing near-complete work for this bridge,” he said.
Likoni MP Mishi Mboko expressed her appreciation, saying the bridge would ease the suffering of travellers, especially women, and ensure uninterrupted movement between Likoni and Mombasa.