New bridge to replace historic Makupa Causeway

Traffic jam at the notorious Kibarani along Makupa in Mombasa causeway in this picture taken on 25 May 2017. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Traffic jam at the notorious Kibarani along Makupa in Mombasa causeway in this picture taken on 25 May 2017. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The historic Makupa Causeway that links Mombasa Island to the Kenyan mainland will be demolished and a bridge built in its place, Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) said Thursday.

The causeway between Tudor and Port Reitz creeks was built in 1920s with environmental surveys showing it has had a negative impact on marine life at both creeks.

The Kibarani dumpsite has made matters worse as toxic waste including heavy metals seep into the ocean, resulting in drying up of mangrove trees and death of fish.

The structure is one of three road links between the island and the mainland — the other two being Nyali bridge and Kepevu Causeway.

Construction of the bridge will be part of the expansion of the Mombasa-Jomvu road into a dual carriage at a cost of Sh6.5 billion, KeNHA coast regional manager Jared Makori said.

“There have been environmental concerns with the causeway and part of the ocean it cuts off is virtually dead. The bridge will be a little longer than the structure which is 120 metres,” he said in a telephone interview.

Mr Makori said while the bridge would also accommodate the old railway line, KeNHA was in talks with the Kenya Railways on how to incorporate the standard gauge railway in the infrastructure.

The tender for construction of the 10-kilometre Mombasa-Jomvu road was awarded in June to Third China Engineering Company and works would be completed in 30 months.

The contractor is currently mobilising equipment in readiness to kick off the project with the road set to be expanded from the current two-way to a dual carriage, the KeNHA official said.

Funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the government, the project is phase one of expansion of the 41.6 kilometre Mombasa-Mariakani road.

Speaking in a recent interview, KeNHA director general Peter Mundinia said non-motorised transport network and truck parking areas would also be provided, as well as service lanes to improve accessibility to surrounding business centres such as Container Freight Stations (CFSs).
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