Sand River temp bridge still intact

In July last year St Francis was marooned after the Sand River came down in flood breaking the bridge over the R330 road – the only access road to St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis. More than 62 mm of rain had fallen before this most consequential event occurred.

This year more than 100 mm has fallen over the past few days and St Francis Chronicle did a mini site tour to establish if the second temporary bridge over the Sand River completed on 29 July last year is still holding.

As these photos taken early this morning show, the bridge is still in remarkably good condition.  However, on the Kromme River side the bank above the outflow pipes is severely eroded at the Humansdorp end threatening the tarred road at that point. Repairs and sand nourishment here are needed before further storms, observers point out.

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 the next afternoon.

This first temporary bridge lasted only two weeks and was broken up after further Sand River floods on 25 July 2011 – leaving St Francis residents partially marooned and without vehicular access to or from  the area for four days..