Kenya is set to start pre-engineering works for the US $57.6m Likoni Cable Cars Express project next week after a lengthy delay.
The work will involve physical survey of the sites where the landing stations and the mast will be built on the two sides of the Likoni channel. The landing station will be built over the road and all cable cars will come under the landing station.
“This week, there will be officers on the ground to do the pre-engineering of equipment in readiness for the take-off,” said Trapos Limited communication officer Mutahi Munyi.
Trapos are the sponsors of the project, and they got into a concession agreement with Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) last December.
KFS managing director Bakari Gowa, said the officers’ mission will be to survey the land before the actual works start.
“The two major masts will be put on that land. The masts and the landing stations are the major installations in this project and the land where they are to be put must be given a clean bill of health for use,” said Mr Gowa.
Construction of the project is set to begin before August. The project, which was also delayed due to land ownership wrangles between KFS and Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), now awaits the Cabinet nod.
“Since the contractual agreements between all the concerned government agencies have been done, we are only waiting for the Cabinet nod for the project to take off,” said Mr Munyi.
The construction will be done by C&C company, which will be in-charge of the infrastructure that include two 90 m high masts and two landing stations.
C&C Construction Company will work hand-in-hand with Doppelmayr Group that will be in charge of the technological part of the project. Doppelmayr Group is a manufacturer of rope ways, cable cars and ski lifts and will transfer the technology and operate the system with Likoni Cable Express Limited.
The project is being undertaken under the Public Private Partnership Act of 2012 and Its completion is expected to take two years with about 500 locals getting jobs.
The iconic project has been lauded by players in the hospitality sector and is expected to be the critical driver for the South Coast tourism.The cable express car is expected to be a state-of-the-art gondola car system connecting either side of the Likoni channel crossing.
It will operate seven days per week, with a crossing time of less than three minutes.The project is the first of its kind in Kenya and is slated to be the first commuter Aerial Cable Car system in Sub-Saharan Africa.