Mombasa Gate Bridge: Transforming Coastal Kenya

The Mombasa Gate Bridge, currently under construction, is set to become the longest bridge in Africa upon completion. Costing approximately Ksh85 billion (USD 600 million), this bridge will connect Mombasa Island to the South Coast, significantly easing traffic congestion and boosting trade and tourism in the region.

Project Overview

The bridge will span around 4 kilometers with a main span of 660 meters, making it the longest in Africa. It is a cable-stayed bridge featuring four traffic lanes and standing 69 meters tall at its center to allow sea vessels to pass beneath. The design includes three spans supported by four piers on each side, ensuring strength and durability.

The construction, expected to take three years, will create around 8,100 direct and 72,900 indirect jobs, boosting the local economy. It will replace the ferry service, in operation since 1937, providing a more efficient river crossing.

Better accessibility is anticipated to spur property development and tourism in the South Coast, areas currently underdeveloped due to ferry transport limitations. This increase in traffic is expected to benefit local businesses and the hospitality industry.

Financing and Challenges

The project is primarily financed by a loan from the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), underscoring strong Kenya-Japan diplomatic ties. Despite the funding agreement signed in 2019, construction starts in 2024 due to various delays.

Challenges include the relocation of about 1,706 households and numerous establishments within the 155-acre bridge area, requiring significant financial compensation. Environmental assessments have been integrated into the planning, focusing on minimizing impacts on water flow and marine life in the Likoni Channel.

Once completed, the Mombasa Gate Bridge will enhance traffic flow and goods transportation between the mainland and Mombasa Island, complementing other regional projects like the Dongo Kundu bypass. It symbolizes Kenya’s push towards modernization, promising economic growth, improved living standards, and reinforcing Kenya’s strategic geographical significance in Africa.
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