Sand River bridge safe – except in floods

The current temporary bridge of the Sand River is quite safe and will be fine if it rains.

That is the word from Marius Keyser, district roads engineer, Department of Roads. “It should not get muddy if it rains since it has gravel over it,” he told St Francis Chronicle. “However, if there are exceptionally high rains and floods like before, the bridge could be declared impassable or even be washed away again,” he warned.

Keyser was responding to fears of residents that heavy rains forecast for this weekend could make the bridge dangerous or even impassable in muddy conditions. Many are planning to go through to PE to visit friends or have friends or family wanting to visit here this weekend.

Keyser assures residents and visitors to the area that the bridge and road is being monitored by the Department of Roads and disaster management team members. “If  they feel the bridge is dangerous to cross at any stage, such as when there are  flood-like conditions, then it will be closed again,” Keyser advised.

Meanwhile, according to a spokes person at St Francis Links, there is no truth in the rumour circulating in St Franics today that a Links’ dam or catchment area is so full that it is about to break. “All dams and catchment areas have been checked and are continually monitored and there is no full catchment area or dam that is likely to overflow or break,” the spokesman said.

The bridge across the Sand River on the R330 to Humansdorp  – St Francis’ only exit route – was broken and washed away mid afternoon on 7 July 2011 by the sheer force of flood waters that came initially from the Oyster Bay wetlands following heavy rains. The old bridge could not stand the pressure and gave way, leaving St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis marooned for 24 hours.

A footpath was built by the following morning and a new temporary bridge was built across the sand river by later that afternoon.

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