NLC ends land pay hearings for Mombasa bridge project

Artistic impression of the proposed Mombasa Gate Bridge Project.

Photo credit: Pool

The State has closed compensation hearings with affected landowners in Mombasa, moving closer to the start of the construction of the Japanese Yen 47. 8 billion (Sh38.82 billion at current exchange rates) Mombasa Gate Bridge.

The National Land Commission (NLC) said last week in a notice the hearings were to close on June 19 as the State moves to pay off Kenyans and acquire an estimated 206 plots of land for the project.

The initiative, being funded by the Japanese International Corporation (JICA), was initially set to start in 2019 but delayed to 2021.

Mombasa Gate Bridge is meant to ease traffic snarl-ups between the city of Mombasa and the South Mainland (Likoni).

“Every person interested in the affected parcels is required to deliver to the National Land Commission on or before the day of the inquiry a written claim to compensation, a copy of their identity card, personal identification number, land ownership documents, and bank account details,” said NLC chair Gerishom Otachi in the notice.

The 1.4-kilometer-long Mombasa Gate Bridge, with a span of 660 metres is set to take three years to complete. It will have four traffic lanes, allowing for fast ease of traffic movement.

The project is being funded through a concessionary loan with a grace period of 12 years. Repayment will take 28 years, according to earlier disclosures by the Treasury.

JICA earlier said repayment for the loans will attract an interest rate of 0.1 percent per annum for civil works and equipment and 0.01 percent per annum for consulting service

Construction of the bridge was mooted decades ago, but lack of funds stalled the project, hurting efforts to boost the integration of the coastal towns, promote tourism and boost the blue economy.

The Mombasa Gate Bridge is part of a co-financing deal between JICA and the African Development Bank for the Bagamoyo-Horohoro/Lunga Lunga-Malindi Road Project, further boosting connectivity with Tanzania.

The bridge (Mombasa Gate Bridge) will be the second ultra-modern in Kenya, after the 1.2-kilometre-Likoni bridge that was built for Sh1.9 billion. The bridge, opened in 2021 significantly eased movement between Mombasa and Likoni.

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