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DAMMED IF THEY DO AND DAMMED IF THEY DON’T

 

sand-river-bridge-14-august-017

 

Keeping in mind the huge impact that the 2 Sand River Bridge wash-aways had on everyone living in St Francis Bay or Cape St Francis, would it shock you to know that the Provincial Roads Department was fined by DEDEAT [Department of Economic, Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism] for stepping in to restore the bridge? Their valiant efforts to restore our access  the outside world was met with a penalty…because they erected a temporary causeway without an EIA being in place. The implications of the bridge not having been restored when it was, is mind boggling considering the  December season was right on the heels of both wash- aways.

It is quite probable the causeway could wash away again and would the Provincial Roads Department step in again and face a R1 000 000,00 fine ? You bet, they would!

The Environmental Impact Assessment  is currently underway and has been for the past 12 months. NEMA [National Environmental Management Act] has stipulated that while this process is underway, no maintenance may be done to this temporary causeway or informal by-pass.  With the 2 year anniversary of the October wash-away being a few days away, should this worry us.??  Absolutely. !! The temporary structure has been described in the Environmental Report as being” inadequate and susceptible to being washed away at any time.”

 The Environment Report has indicated 3 alternatives for the reconstruction of the bridge, these being a ‘suspended concrete bridge’, a ‘cast in situ cellular structure’ or a ‘cast in situ 3 span bridge’. The construction times for these 3 alternatives vary from 7 to 12 months and the costs from
R11 million to R17 million.

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