It will take barely seven minutes to cross the Likoni channel in Mombasa once the floating bridge building is finalized.
The building of the floating bridge is currently and it is one sweet new normal that awaits the residents once the 700 meters long Likoni Floating Bridge is complete. The bridge runs from Liwatoni in Mombasa Island to Ras Bofu (Peleleza) in Likoni.
The project has been approximated to a cost of Sh1.7 billion geared to ending the congestion at the channel currently used by more than 300,000 people daily. The construction is to be completed by the end of the year, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) being the main contractor.
The floating design shows details of the floating bridge that will comprise a 715-meter long floating section and 54-meter long approaches on either side of the floating span.
So far the dangers foreseen include the collision of vessels because of congested water that will pose a high possibility of a commercial ship hitting the floating bridge, a seabed cable in the vicinity, and strong waves, which could swing the bridge.
To curb the risks the site was changed to Liwatoni as was termed safe, raising the cost of the bridge from Sh1.5 billion to Sh1.7 billion. By the change of plan, liwatoni catchment roads will be improved by keeping check that a Matatu terminus is put up at Coca Cola, few meters from the bridge.
The works for the project will involve the construction of pile foundations and a bailey type approach bridge with a movable main steel bridge in the middle of the channel that allows ship movements.
For large ships, the bridge gives a swing opening of clear 150 meters width while for small fishing boats, there would be a bascule opening of five meters to advantage their course.
During the work and operations two Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) tag boats will be deployed to open, close the bridge in case ships are entering or leaving the Mombasa port.
The completion of the bridge will help deal with at least 40 percent of pedestrian congestion at the Likoni channel as reported by Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) managing director Bakari Gowa,
“The project is one of those that we are eyeing as it will aid dealing with the congestion even if it is a smaller percentage,” said Mr. Bakari, who added that already, another section of ferry users are using the Mtongwe channel whose operations resumed on September 1.