Sprucing up St Francis Bay before season

Finance is available for tarring of the Sand River Bridge by the Provincial Roads Department later this month.

This and other sprucing up, repairing and cleaning of St Francis Bay projects before season will enable the town to look in top condition when visitors arrive for their annual seaside holidays.

The announcement of repairs to the town was made this week by Nigel Aitken, who is heading up a roads and infrastructure portfolio for St Francis Bay Residents’ Association.

After consultation with the chief engineer for the Roads Department, Marius Keyser,  Aitken says the Department is also going to see that there are improved barriers erected along the sides of the Sand River Bridge.

This is after at least six known vehicle accidents have occurred at the bridge. In two of the accidents the 4x4s ploughed into the Sand River. Miraculously both drivers escaped injury although their cars were written off.

Aitken also revealed that increased traffic during the holiday season could put pedestrians’ lives at risk when they crossed the bridge. Consequently it is planned to have a footbridge and pedestrian crossing made before season, probably over the old Sand River bridge.

Then there are plans to have a temporary water pipe connecting to the Churchill pipeline laid across the Sand River by Kouga municipal officials so that there will be sufficient water during season. The previous pipe broke when storm waters washed away the existing bridge at the beginning of July this year.

On beachfront amenities in St Francis Bay and their current poor status, Aitken reports that following talks with the municipality the toilets and wash-aways at Nevil Road will be repaired and working, the building for lifeguards and the change rooms will be tidied up – all before the holidays at the end of the year.

The Nevil Road toilets will be kept locked at night as it appears taps and other plumbing equipment were being stolen from them. The Aldabara Run toilets will also be spruced up and locked at night. Then at Frank Road the stairs to the beach will be repaired.

Municpal officials were fixing the particularly bad section of St Francis Drive, just before Romazini Road, this afternoon.

As for the Kouga Municpality pothole project, funded by Kouga Municipality and supervised voluntary by Aitken himself for the residents of St Francis Bay, Aitken says the municipal staff have worked hard to fix the potholes this week along the particularly bad stretch of St Francis Drive between Harbour Road and the Port.

He said the municipality still plans to have all potholes fixed before season. “We could run out of tar though because there is a shortage of tar nationally following the refinery that burnt down in Durban.”

Aitken said if all stocks ran out bitumen or some other suitable filling will be used.

All repair work to St Francis Bay’s roads so far has been funded solely by Kouga Municipality and not by residents.  Since the municipality stepped forward to fix the town’s potholes itself it has not been necessary to use any residents’ funds.

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