The final design of the proposed bridge linking Mombasa Island to the South Coast will be out next March raising hopes of easing congestion Likoni ferry crossing.
Japan consultancy firm, Katahira & Engineers International, the project consultant began the groundwork survey, focused on completing the first phase in July. The second phase will end February 2017.
The government through the ministry of transport said it secured funding from Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA).
“Financing for the actual construction work will be determined after completion of the survey,” said transport principal secretary John Mosonik.
The ferry experiences congestion with estimates giving an average of 300,000 persons and 3,000 vehicles crossing per day.
Mr Mosonik said the project is handled as priority to curb congestion at ferry crossing, which derails movement of tourists. Crossing the island has been a nightmare over the years.
Last year for instance, three ferries broke down leaving thousands of commuters stranded. Stampedes resulting to injuries are a common occurrence at the crossing when ferries break down.
The Mombasa Gate Bridge is expected to operate concurrently with the ferry.
The contractor is set to look into the inflow of traffic from the North Coast mainland to the island. Also of importance will be the environment, economic and social impacts of having the bridge constructed.
The bridge when complete will ease movement of goods and people between the Island and South Coast and beyond to Tanzania. It is also expected to reduce conflicts between docking ships and ferries, which are considered rampant in the vicinity.
Further, it will enhance capacity of Mombasa Port, by providing alternative access. It will create synergy with ongoing Mombasa Port Area Road development project as well as the Mombasa Special Economic Zone.
The pre-feasibility study for the bridge conducted by Katahira & Engineers International was submitted in March last year. It showed that there was a great possibility of constructing the bridge at the channel to combat the traffic challenges.
The contractor recommended the height and width of the bridge, considering the typography of the coastal region as well as the aviation standards.