Canal spit repairs depend on bridge repairs

The repair of the dune spit on St Francis Bay’s canals is urgent but the Sand River Bridge has to be first strengthened and widened to allow heavy loads of more than 10 tonnes to cross.

The precarious dune spit that runs alongside the ski canal on St Francis Bay's canals and that acts as a buffer from the sea for canal homes, is in need of protection itself - it needs to be fortified with rock revetments urgently.

“The spit cannot endure another stormy season that occurs in the second half of the year as it has already suffered serious damage and erosion in September and October.” Tony Butler of the St Francis Bay Riparian Homeowners Association stresses. “So we need to be able to commence work early in the New Year.”

Repairs, according toButler, should have begun some time back.  “But we first had to wait for approval from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEAT), and we are currently working out costs and will need to raise funds from canal home owners.  All this takes time.”

In response to repeated correspondence, meetings and phone calls to appropriate authorities, the St Francis Bay Residents Association has received a verbal assurance from Marius Keyser of the Provincial Roads Department that it aims to complete the widening and strengthening of the Sand River causeway by end November and raise the weight limit to 30 tonnes.

“Work on repairing the spit will start in earnest in the New Year – a time that affords better weather conditions for the work to be done,” says Butler. “We obviously cannot work on the spit over the holiday period.

“However, we hope to do some remedial repairs on existing revetments prior to year end. This will depend on when the temporary bridge is upgraded.  We have to work within the limitations we face.

“We will be presenting our plans for the revetment process to our members at the AGM of the SFB Riparian HOA on 19 December following which we anticipate work will begin in the New Year,”Butler adds.

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