The construction of the 600-metre second Nyali Bridge and 400 metres of road linking the Island and North Coast is set to begin in June after the Treasury received funding from the World Bank.
The project, which will be undertaken through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, is set to ease pressure on the current bridge which is the only access route between Mombasa Island and North Coast.
The implementation of the projects under PPP means the facility will be undertaken by the private sector who will recover their investment by installing toll booth to collect charges from users. The project is among other roads earmarked for tolling, which include Thika Road, Nairobi-Mombasa highway, Nairobi Southern Bypass, and the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit road.
In the tender advertisement issued by the Treasury, the government is seeking interested firms to bid for the transaction services for the proposed second Nyali bridge project.
"The government of Kenya has received financing from the World Bank towards the cost of the Infrastructure Finance and PPP and intends to apply part of the proceeds for consulting services. The consulting services is to be implemented over a period of 24 months with expected start date of June 2020," reads the bidding advertisement.
The suspension bridge will start from Abdel Nasser Road on the Island and join Links Road on the northern mainland and will be 500m to the east of the current Nyali Bridge, built by a Japanese contractor in 1980, and about 520m across the Tudor creek. The new bridge will pass near the Tamarind Hotel where the old Nyali Bridge was.
The bridge construction which is part of the larger Mombasa Transport Master Plan will help reduce congestion in the tourism hub, considering Mombasa county has grown exponentially over the past four decades with population expected to rise beyond 1.5 million by 2025.
The current bridge was built about 38 years ago and is the only road connection between Mombasa mainland and the island. It was built by the Japanese when the population of Mombasa was estimated at less than 200,000.
The second bridge will help deal with traffic congestion experienced by motorists from the Northern Coast considering more than 70 per cent of vehicles coming to the Central Business District come from Links Road where the bridge will land.
The final budget of the project which lies under the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) is yet to be concluded after the change of design to include roads approaching the bridge linking.
According to a survey by Transaction Advisory Consortium in 2018 led by Delloitte & Touche, more than 203 households and 63 enterprises will be displaced; largely informal, unregistered businesses, roadside hotels, kiosks and boat builders/repairers who needed for alternative space for traders.
The survey suggested change of project's eight proposed locations to reduce number of those to be affected by the bridge which will result to reduction of compensation and relocation cost.