08 October 2019

The Likoni Gate Bridge, expected
to ease passenger and vehicular crossings over the dreaded Likoni channel in
Mombasa, will cost Sh210 billion, documents seen by the Saturday Nation show.

The bridge will also,
technically, not be on the Likoni crossing as many had expected, but on the
wider Mtongwe passage west of Likoni, towards the Kilindini port.

The government has so far secured
a commitment of Sh46 billion from the Japanese government for the project, also
known as the Mombasa Gate Bridge.

Two weeks ago, Kenya and Japan
signed a treaty confirming that Tokyo would partner with Nairobi on the
project. The loan agreement, according to documents from Kenya National
Highways Authority (Kenha), is yet to be signed.

Japan will foot slightly over
half of the cost of the project — Sh123 billion — which will settle
construction and consultancy bills. The government will then be expected to
foot Sh87 billion, part of which will go towards utility relocation costs on
the Mombasa island and Likoni sides and compensation for the thousands of
people and businesses that will be displaced by the project.

Kenya will also be expected to
foot the Sh645 million interest accrued on the loan Japan will issue, and a
further Sh247 million front-end fee.


About 1,200 residential and 833
commercial buildings will be brought down to pave the way for the bridge on
both sides of the channel. The cost of compensation is expected to hit Sh12
billion even before construction starts three years from now, in 2022.


The cable-supported bridge will
tower over the channel by 69 metres at the highest water level and will be 1.4
kilometres long.

The Likoni and Mtongwe channels
are the only links that connect the island and the mainland to the south.

Ferries in the Likoni channel
carry about 320,000 people and 6,000 vehicles a day, leading to massive
congestion on both sides of the channel.


Construction is expected to take
up to five years and the contractor is expected to hand over the bridge to the
government in 2028.

The proposed implementation schedule for the project indicates that the selection of the consultant who will provide a detailed design of the bridge should be done by the end of this year.

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