Floating pedestrian bridge links Mombasa Island to Kenyan mainland

22nd January 2021

By: John Muchira

Creamer Media Correspondent


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Kenya has opened a $17-million floating bridge in the Indian Ocean that links Mombasa Island to the mainland for use by the public.

The 1.2-km-long Liwatoni pedestrian floating bridge was opened on January 1 and is intended to reduce congestion at the Likoni crossing channel, where ferries are currently used to transport people and vehicles across the channel.

It is estimated that about 300 000 pedestrians and 6 000 vehicles cross the channel daily, causing immense congestion during peak hours.

An increase in the population of the coastal city, which has exerted increasing pressure on the ferry service, coupled with escalating accidents, some of which have resulted in fatalities, prompted Kenya to invest in the floating bridge as a temporary measure.

“We want to [improve] the lives of our people by easing movement, and the bridge is part of the infrastructure projects in the coastal region that will open up businesses and create employment,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta when he commissioned the facility.

The bridge was built by China Road & Bridge Corporation.

It comprises a 6-m-wide bridge deck and a 715-m-long floating section. In the middle, it has a 150 m swing opening to allow the passage of ships calling at Mombasa Port to transit through the channel.

The upper section of the bridge comprises lattice steel designed from prefabricated parts with a movable main steel structure.

The bridge also comprises a 529-m-long floating section and 54-m-long approaches on either side of the floating span.

The floating bridge is expected to be dismantled after five years, once construction of the $1.9-billion Mombasa Gate Bridge is completed in 2025.

When completed, the facility, which will be 70 m high to allow ships to pass underneath, is expected to offer a permanent solution to the Likoni ferry crossing channel challenges.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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