There is a perennial traffic congestion problem at the Nyali Bridge every single day during rush hours. This has only seemed to worsen as days go by. The surge in population growth in the North coast doesn’t look like it is about to ease off any time soon. Both County and National governments are aware of this. In fact, everyone agrees that we need another bridge connecting the Northern mainland to the Mombasa Island. The county assembly only recently approved plans to construct the bridge, slated to kick off next year. The only problem is where to build it.
A 2012 report indicated that the bridge is supposed to link Abdel Nasser Road on the island and Links Road in Mkomani, Nyali. According to the same report, the bridge is expected to be built in the same location as the old steel suspension bridge which was decommissioned after the current Nyali Bridge was opened.
Construction of the new Nyali Bridge has faced hurdle after hurdle since it was mooted years ago. The current Mombasa County governor, in his days as Kisauni constituency member of parliament agitated for the repossession of the piece of land where the old suspension Nyali Bridge once stood, 25 years ago. The old Bridge ran from Aldina school on island up to the narrow limb on the northern mainland where the Tamarind Village Apartments now stand. The government’s wish to demolish the buildings has pitted the owners against the Kenya urban roads Authority in a legal tussle that has seen the project halted by the courts.
Lawyers representing the Tamarind hotel chain claim the government has no legal grounds to cancel their title deeds and repossess the land on which his apartments stand. A high Court judge agreed and ruled that while the government was acting in public interest, it was imperative to follow the rule of law and due diligence and compensation. It remains to be seen how soon the alleged encroachments can move to pave way for construction of the bridge which will go a long way in streamlining traffic flow in Mombasa.
Mr. Shah, a Nyali resident thinks the bridge is long overdue.
“The distance from my home to the Central Business District (CBD) isn’t much, but the jam in the morning forces one to wake up early so as to get to work in time. In the evening it’s worse. The new bridge would help some of us commute from home to work and back more easily.”
Earlier this year, Deloitte Consulting Limited was selected to be the lead transaction advisor for the construction of the second bridge. Partnering with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited, the firm is conducting a feasibility study, due diligence and transaction planning. They are also expected to provide project assistance until the financial close, including marketing it to private investors , as well as bidding and evaluation of contractors.