Thousands of Mombasa residents have abandoned the Sh1.9 billion Liwatoni floating bridge that was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta last month and opted to use ferries to cross the Likoni Channel in the Indian Ocean.
Residents claimed that they still harbour fears of using the bridge as they did not understand the technology behind it.
“Nahofia naweza kuanguka nikazama ndani ya maji. Tunaskia ni floating bridge hatujui kama ni tiles za pumzi zimewekwa kule chini – inatatanisha sana. (I fear that the bridge may collapse and I drown. All we know is that the bridge floats, but we do not know how),” one Coastal resident said.
Some lamented that the operators had not unveiled a clear timetable after the bridge was officially opened for public use on Friday, January 1, 2021.
“Whenever you have goods or children, you will opt for the ferry as it eases your burdens,” a mother with two children waiting to cross the channel said.
Others added that it would take time for them to get used to using the bridge rather than the ferry which has been their tradition for years.
The 800 – meter bridge is usually opened in the morning between 6 am and 8 am and in the evening hours between 4 pm and 6 pm.
It has a 150-meter moveable section mid-ocean to allow for opening and closing and smooth movement of ships in and out of the port.
A six-meter wide sidewalk was also constructed to ease congestion, thus enabling adherence to Covid-19 regulations.