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3rd Ave dip project starts

The ultimate goal is for traffic to be diverted from the troublesome dipped section of road.

Work has started on the road under the William Moffett Expressway leading to the 3rd Avenue dip and Glenhurd Drive
Work has started on the road under the William Moffett Expressway leading to the 3rd Avenue dip and Glenhurd Drive
Image: Eugene Coetzee

The construction of the 3rd Avenue dip suspension bridge near the William Moffett Expressway has commenced, with phase one of three under way to construct a temporary bypass joining Restitution and 3rd avenues.

Construction of the first phase costing about R13-million started in June, with a deadline of December 15. The ultimate goal is for traffic to be diverted from the troublesome dipped section of road.

The first phase will see the road being extended from Restitution Avenue to a connection point along Glen Hurd Drive.

Along the extension will be a traffic circle where another road will be constructed to join the William Moffett Expresstion way – at the traffic lights in front of Williams Hunt.

Municipal spokesman Kupido Baron on Thursday confirmed the R13m figure and deadline for the first phase.

“There will be no traffic management as the bypass will tie into the existing road,” Baron said.

“The existing road leading into the 3rd Avenue dip will be blanked and all traffic will be directed from Restitution Avenue. Traffic will not be affected during construction.

“The road might be closed for a weekend to do the tie-in.”

A Wavelengths Construction site supervisor, who did not want to be named, said the aim was to ease traffic congestion in the dip and allow for an easier transition into phase two, which is the widening of the road from Continental Butchery to the start of the dip.

The third phase is construcstage of the suspension bridge which is about 30m long, according to the supervisor.

“We are busy constructing a temporary bypass.

“When this road is done, the entrance to the dip [from Alan Drive] will be closed.

“Everything will be done first – the new road will be opened closer to the end of the year,” he said.

“Phase two will kick in next year, but is dependent on funding. From what I understand, the bridge itself will be about R120-million.”

However, Baron said at this he was unable to confirm details of phase two and three as both were dependent on future budget allocation.

Baakens Valley Preservation Trust Committee member Steff Schenk said the trust understood development was inevitable, but the best interests of the valley should take preference.

“There needs to be political will from the municipality to ensure the job is done properly from start to finish and thereafter,” he said.

“Municipal inspectors should visit the sites during and after the developments to ensure contractors leave the sites in equal or better condition than when they arrived.

“I find there has been a total disregard when it comes to Baakens Valley.

“I assure you there isn’t a 100m stretch of valley that can still be called pristine.

“I don’t think this new road will help with traffic either.”

Schenk’s sentiments were echoed by Wildline and Urban Raptor founder Arnold Slabbert, who said an “ignorant approach” by the municipality had already affected the Baakens River.

“My concern is canalisation which seems to be the ignorant approach adopted by the municipality whereby the river is squeezed into narrow canals.

“Any construction in, close to, over, or under a river should be avoided,” Slabbert said.

“The Baakens River, however, has the misfortune of running through the city – and I sincerely hope the municipality has all its relayed paperwork in order.

This type of work in estuaries, rivers and other protected areas requires more than just an environmental impact assessment.”

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