What Uhuru's Launch of Ksh 4.5B Makupa Bridge Means for Mombasa

  • Makupa Bridge to replace 90 year old causeway
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (center) and Mombasa Governor (right) take a walk at the new Makupa Bridge during its commissioning on August 4, 2022.
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, August 4, launched the newly constructed Makupa Bridge in Mombasa. The 475-meter-long bridge will connect the Island of Mombasa to the mainland, offering a solution to the constant congestion experienced by motorists in the area. 

    The bridge is a replacement for the Makupa Causeway which was constructed by the colonial administration in 1929.  

    Mombasa residents have for over 90 years relied on the causeway to cross to the opposite sides of Kenya’s only Island city, albeit with constraints due to the high population. 

    A bridge along Makupa Causeway connecting Mombasa Island and Kenyan inland
    A bridge along Makupa Causeway connecting Mombasa Island and Kenyan inland

    Makupa Bridge is one of Uhuru regime's flagship projects in the coast region. The four lanes will help reduce the time taken to travel from Moi International Airport in Mombasa and other suburbs in the western part of the city to 10 minutes.

    The President, while launching the bridge, welcomed the completion of the project noting that it was part of his government’s commitment to improving the transport network in the region. 

    “This bridge will help in the transport of goods and people. The usual traffic congestion experienced we have been experiencing will now be history,” the head of state remarked during the commissioning.

    Besides alleviating traffic congestion in the area, the bridge was also designed to elevate the status of Mombasa as an island city. 

    Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia in June noted that the uplift of the city would restore Mombasa's lost glory as a major coastal city. 

    “The Makupa Bridge project is historic because it returns Mombasa to be one of the internationally recognised islands and help in marketing it as a tourist destination,” Macharia observed during the inspection of the project in June.

    The bridge will give Mombasa a new landmark with an elegant view of the Indian Ocean waters. It floats above the sea with each of the lanes being  20 meters wide. 

    The project includes an extension of a pedestrian walk rail for the city residents and tourists. This two-meter section will also serve cyclists entering and exiting Mombasa town - further elevating the second largest city in Kenya to international standards. 

    In addition, its design meets the requirements of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization-UNESCO regarding the preservation of marine life.

    UNESCO had placed a condition on the government demanding an instant removal of the old causeway which had blocked the free movement of water in the channel. 

    The new 450 meters stretch will allow the dredging of both sides of Tudor and Port Reitz creeks, meeting the condition placed by the UN body which nearly delisted Mombasa from the list of island cities in the world.

    The Jubilee administration has undertaken several major infrastructural projects that have been projected to be game changers in the coast region. 

    Other notable projects launched include the Likoni Floating Bridge and the Changamwe Interchange.

    Makupa Bridge to replace 90 year old causeway
    Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia (left) orients President Uhuru Kenyatta (center) through the Makupa Bridge Bridge on August 4, 2022.