To date the City of Cape Town has invested nearly R250 million in the rehabilitation of Main Road and the replacement of vital services such as water mains, sewer pipes and electricity cables in the Southern Peninsula.

Once completed, the City of Cape Town would have spent approximately R304 million on the rehabilitation of Main Road which covers a distance of approximately 4,5 km from the intersection with Atlantic Road in Muizenberg, through St James, and to the intersection with Clovelly Road just past Kalk Bay.

‘During the past two decades or so we have seen an increase in the population of the Southern Peninsula and growing tourist numbers during the summer season. We are acutely aware of the inconvenience caused while we are working on this project; however, the future prosperity of the suburbs along Main Road relies on the investment the City makes in providing for urbanisation and economic growth in the years to come. The significance of this project is even more obvious when one bears in mind that Main Road is one of only three access routes to the far south and that it currently carries about 19 000 vehicles per day,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.

Transport for Cape Town, the City’s transport authority, has made good progress thus far with the third and final phase of the Main Road project. If all goes according to plan, the construction of the new retaining wall above the old Clovelly railway station will be completed by the end of this month.

‘Residents driving along this stretch of Main Road would have seen the excavators where the final 30 metres of the retaining wall are being constructed. This is partly to serve as a support structure for Main Road above and otherwise to make it possible for us to widen Main Road. In future, motorists will be able to parallel park along the seaside and there will be footways for pedestrians on both the mountain and sea sides – all the way from Woolley’s Pool to the bridge. The walkway on the sea side will be about 5 m wide and the footway on the mountain side approximately 2 m. We will also refurbish the steps that lead to Woolley’s Pool on the other side of the railway line,’ said Councillor Herron.

Once finished, the retaining wall will extend for a distance of nearly 500 m from Woolley’s Pool to Clovelly, with a reinforced crash barrier and a bespoke stainless steel handrail.

‘The wall will have stone buttresses at 5 m intervals to create shadow lines. We are now doing the stone-cladding to make the wall more appealing. We are proud of the fact that we are using the excavated stones from this site for the cladding, making this even more aesthetically authentic,’ said Councillor Herron.

All timeworn underground services such as the 100-year-old sewer pipes and the like have been replaced along this section of road. The 50-year-old water main was replaced with a 700 mm ductile iron pipe and will be connected to the new pump station at Clovelly, securing the water supply to residents in the far south for the next 30 to 40 years. This new water main as well as the new MV electricity cable and fibre-optic telecommunications cable will be installed under the footway between the new retaining wall and the road.

The project, however, has now reached a point where the installation of new underground water mains, sewer pipes, stormwater pipes, street lighting, low-voltage cables and fibre-optic infrastructure must take place between the Kalk Bay Harbour entrance and Woolley’s Pool.

As such, the stop/go system between the Kalk Bay Harbour entrance and Woolley’s Pool, was reinstated this morning, 7 March 2016. This followed from the temporary suspension of the stop/go system at the request of local business owners for a three-month period during the summer holidays.

‘We have stated before that the section of Main Road between the Kalk Bay Harbour entrance and Woolley’s Pool would be the most difficult to rehabilitate in terms of traffic management, given that Boyes Drive cannot be used as a bypass. Unfortunately, along this section of Main Road, the existing vital services such as water mains and sewer pipes are located in positions under the roadway, making the installation of the new services impossible without restricting the traffic to a single lane. It is also important to note that we have to keep both the existing bulk water supply pipe and the domestic supply main in operation during the installation of the new water pipes,’ said Councillor Herron.

A major challenge is to find a suitable route for the new 700 mm diameter and 450 mm diameter mains while maintaining normal supply to consumers along this section.

‘We are making every effort to complete the project on time, juggling the needs of the local residents while at the same time providing first-class infrastructure to our residents and road users. Once completed, our residents will benefit greatly from the rehabilitated Main Road which we estimate will last at least another 30 years without the need for major maintenance,’ said Councillor Herron.

At this stage it is anticipated that the project will be completed just before the summer holidays in December 2017.