Residents Opt for Ferry Over Ksh1.9B Mombasa Floating Bridge

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    President Uhuru Kenyatta unveils the Liwatoni Floating Bridge in Likoni, Mombasa
    PSCU
  • Thousands of Mombasa residents have opted to use the ferries to cross the Likoni Channel in the Indian Ocean, rather than use the Ksh 1.9 billion Liwatoni Floating Bridge unveiled by President Uhuru Kenyatta on December 10, 2020.

    Residents claimed that they still harbour fears of using the bridge as they did not understand the technology behind it. 

    "Nahofia naweza kuanguka nikazama ndani ya maji. Tunaskia ni floating bridge hatujui kama ni tiles za pumzi zimewekwa kule chini - inatatanisha sana. I fear that the bridge may collapse and I drown. All we know is that the bridge floats, but we do not know how," one coastal resident said. 

    Some lamented that the operators had not unveiled a clear timetable after the bridge was officially opened for public use on Friday, January 1, 2021. 

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    President Uhuru Kenyatta unveils the Liwatoni Floating Bridge in Likoni Mombasa on Thursday, December 10, 2020
    PSCU

    Fred Musa said that the walking distance is tiresome and one faces the scorching sun unlike inside the ferry where a passenger relaxes and arrives on time. 

    "Whenever you have goods or children, you will opt for the ferry as it eases your burdens," a mother with two children waiting to cross the channel said. 

    Others added that it would take time for them to get used to using the bridge rather than the ferry which has been their tradition for years. 

    The 800 - meter bridge is usually opened in the morning between 6 am and 8 am and in the evening hours between 4 pm and 6 pm. 

    It has a 150-meter moveable section mid-ocean to allow for opening and closing and smooth movement of ships in and out of the port. 

    A six-meter wide sidewalk was also constructed to ease congestion, thus enabling adherence to Covid-19 regulations.

    The bridge was officially opened for public use on Friday, January 1, 2021, with residents urged to use it to reduce the time they spend commuting across the channel.

    It was also built to ease traffic as over 300,000 residents congest in ferries in the rush hour periods. 

    The bridge was constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) under the supervision of the Kenya National Highway Authority (KENHA) and will be operational until 2025 when a permanent and a wider multi-purpose bridge will be ready for use connecting the island and Likoni.

    Cars disembarking from a ferry in Likoni, Mombasa
    Cars disembarking from a ferry after it arrives at the Mombasa island end of the Likoni channel on March 23, 2020.
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