Patience called for while the Sand River Bridge is improved

Some motorists are impatient during current improvements to the Sand River Bridge.

This was indicated in a message from the provincial chief road engineer, Marius Keyser, to St Francis Chronicle today. “The impatience of the local traffic is disappointing as we have opted not to close the road during working hours and work under traffic to accommodate the locals,” Keyser said.

In the light of this,  Nigel Aitken of the St Francis Bay Residents’ Association  (SFBRA) today appealed to motorists to be patient while work on the bridge is underway. “And more importantly to adhere to the speed limit when approaching and crossing this bridge.”

Improvements to the bridge, are being undertaken by contractors for the Eastern Cape Provincial department of roads. The improvements include widening and tarring of the bridge to make it more safe to cross by local residents and the thousands of visitors expected in St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis next month.

Keyser also told this newspaper  the improvement of the causeway should be completed early in December.

According to Aitken, who heads up the roads and general infrastructure portfolio for the SFBRA, work has progressed at a rapid rate. He says contractors, Penny Farthing, will put a sealant on the surface tomorrow and early next week a team will come in to lay the grit and tar to provide a semi-permanent surface.

Aitken also says a special word of thanks is due to Duncan Leithbridge Junior of Total Productive Instruments (TPI) who supplied much of the equipment even though Province is paying for this. He has conducted repairs at his own expense. “Many people are unaware that it was Duncan who on many occasions graded the temporary causeway to try to fill recurring potholes.”

On other repairs in the town, Aitken says Kouga Municipality’s pothole team will continue with repairs from Monday. He also advised that work started today on the installation of a proper main water pipe across the Sand River.

“The concrete rings are positioned to support the new water pipe. These rings will be filled with concrete prior to the pipe being laid. This pipe is still a temporary pipe until such time as a permanent bridge is built.

“Then the water pipe will be incorporated as part of the new bridge. “I have seen the cost of temporary fix and it is definitely not cheap!” Aitken adds.

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