New Baakens bridge needs a name
After nine months of construction, and innovations in architectural and engineering design, the Baakens Valley footbridge next to the Tramways building is nearly complete and is believed to be the first composite materials-built public bridge in SA.
The 40m arched bridge, nearly 4m in height, is part of a master plan to extend and connect the Baakens Valley area with the inner city.
“The structure is constructed to avoid a build-up of debris during heavy rains and flooding,” Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) project manager Thandi Mafu said.
“The bridge will not only provide a safe walking space, but will alleviate parking congestion experienced by the city.”
The MBDA is encouraging the public to get involved in the project by naming the bridge ahead of its official opening.
MBDA spokesperson Luvuyo Bangazi said while they expected all work to be completed by the end of November, a date for the official opening was yet to be determined.
“We would like to keep the public involved and engaged along the lifespan of this project,” Bangazi said.
“Not so long ago we asked Bay citizens to choose the design and they responded overwhelmingly.
“We are now closer to opening this bridge of opportunity and once again we call on the public to contribute towards the naming of this new iconic landmark.”
He added the aim of the call was for the community to take ownership and become more involved in creating the identity of the city.
“All suggestions are welcomed and will be considered by a panel of independent reviewers.
“Suggestions can be as creative as possible and citizens are free to propose relevant historical names, past or current local iconic heroes.
“The MBDA would encourage names that have a heritage or historic connection to the Old South End to bring redress and preservation of the legacy of the area,” Bangazi said.
Residents may send their submission to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it as a comment on the MBDA Facebook page.