The rehabilitation of the sea wall to protect Beach Road along the Strand beachfront from windblown sand and frequent flooding during high tides and storms will commence early next year.
The refurbishment of the Strand sea wall forms part of the City of Cape Town’s Strand Pavilion Precinct upgrade project, initiated to create a well-maintained and inclusive public space for local residents and visitors alike.
‘Transport for Cape Town, the City’s transport authority, will spend approximately R103 million on the first phase of the refurbishment of the Strand sea wall. The tender for this phase, stretching from the Strand Pavilion to Da Gama Street, was awarded in October 2015 and the contractor officially took possession of the building site a few days ago. Given the customary annual builders’ holiday, the construction and refurbishment is to commence by the end of January 2016, meaning businesses along the Strand beachfront and holidaymakers will not be affected by the construction work during the festive season,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.
The manufacturing of the pre-cast concrete wall units is one of the first jobs at hand. Therefore, even though residents will not see much activity on site during the next two months or so, a lot will be going on off-site as part of the works. It is estimated that the first phase of the project will be completed within 18 months, if all goes according to plan.
‘We all are well acquainted with the impact of the weather on Beach Road. Waves, sand and debris often obstruct sections of the road after storms, partly because of the disintegration of the sea wall over the past decades. The City is aware of the urgency and need to complete the first phase of the project as soon as possible. I must state from the outset, however, that there is currently very little that we can do to prevent intermediate sea overflow onto Beach Road as was the case in the last week of October 2015,’ said Councillor Herron.
The best the City can do is to get on with the construction of the sea wall.
‘It is important to bear in mind that this project required environmental authorisation from the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP), stipulating what is allowed and what is not. The approval of this project by DEADP does not make provision for interim measures to mitigate the existing flooding risk during the construction phase, apart from those measures required to protect and preserve the actual work during construction,’ said Councillor Herron.
The sea wall will be rehabilitated from the lifesaving club, past the Strand Pavilion to Greenways. The construction is set to commence by the end of January 2016 and will take place in three phases, with each phase to be concluded within 18 months, if all goes according to plan:
- the first phase will be undertaken from the Strand Pavilion to Da Gama Street
- the second phase will be undertaken from Da Gama Street to the lifesaving club
- the final phase will be undertaken from the Strand Pavilion to Greenways
A five-metre wide promenade will be created along the sea side of Beach Road, stretching from the lifesaving club in the west to Greenways in the east. In addition, a precast concrete recurved sea wall will be constructed between the promenade and the beach, the top of which will be 0,75 metres above the promenade level and 1 – 2 metres above the beach.
If and where needed, broad steps will be constructed from the road level to the promenade level, with the number of steps depending on the difference in height between these two levels.
The estimated cost inclusive of all three phases is R180 million.
‘Residents and visitors will be impacted by the construction activities and traffic congestion as from the end of January next year onwards. Access to the slipway may be restricted, as will access to the beach in the areas where the construction is taking place. The long-term benefits outweigh the inconvenience we will have to endure for the much-needed improvements, but every effort will be made to ensure that the rehabilitation project is done with as little inconvenience as possible to residents and stakeholders,’ said Councillor Herron.