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The City will, within the next few days, commence with emergency repairs and temporary coastal protection work along Beach Road in Strand.

The Level 4 regulations allow for civil engineering for public works during the lockdown period and with the easing of restrictions, the City can now undertake emergency repairs.

An 80-metre section of the sea wall and pedestrian sidewalk along Beach Road in Strand is severely damaged. Parts have collapsed due to ongoing erosion at the toe of the structure and persistent wave action.

‘What is making matters worse, is that during high tides the over-wash damages the road and pedestrian walkway. It also poses a safety risk to pedestrians and other road users. The City’s long-term plan is to install a new sea wall along this whole section, but in the meantime we need to take immediate action to protect our infrastructure,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Alderman Felicity Purchase.

Due to the ongoing risk, continual damage to the road and the potential for complete collapse of the infrastructure, the City’s Environmental Department in partnership with the Transport Directorate, have designed an interim gabion wall to be constructed along the length of the high risk section.

‘This section comprises about 80m. This is an interim measure only to protect the road, public transport and pedestrian walkway for the next three to four years until such time as the design and implementation of the second phase of the Strand sea wall is completed,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt.

A number of constraints and limitations were considered, among which the project timelines, available budget and the physical characteristics of the site. It was finally determined that the most feasible temporary protection option will be to implement a gabion structure landwards of the existing damaged seawall.

The project will include the following:

  • construction of a short-term, temporary gabion structure as interim measure to replace collapsed parts of the sea wall and to protect existing services;
  • repair and realignment of existing stormwater kerb and channel;
  • re-routing of existing services along the damaged section of the sea wall; and
  • repair sidewalks, kerbs, and road surfacing

The work forming part of this project falls within the existing infrastructure footprint and environmental authorisation (EA) for the second phase of the Strand sea wall project. Meaning, there was no need to apply for environmental authorisation. However, the City will exercise oversight with the assistance of a designated Environmental Control Officer to ensure compliance with the existing EA and protection of the environment during construction.

Construction is expected to be complete in 10 weeks, weather permitting, and keeping in mind that the site is impacted daily by high tide, and tidal influence.

As is the case with all construction and repair work, there will be some inconvenience to the public.

Residents are advised as follows:

  • the pedestrian sidewalk and parking bays between Haarlem and Culemborg Streets will be closed to the public. The sidewalk will be reopened once construction work is complete;
  • the parking area at the corner of Haarlem Street and Beach Road will be closed for the duration of the construction period to accommodate the construction site camp; and
  • to please refrain from accessing the beach between Haarlem and Culemborg Streets for their own safety

The contractor will be on site before the end of May 2020, if all goes as planned.

The contractor is obliged to comply with the necessary health and safety protocols in terms of limiting the spread of COVID-19, and this safety plan has been presented to and endorsed by the City. The City will also monitor the project on site to ensure compliance.

‘We plan to upgrade the entire length of this coastline – from the Pavilion in the west, to the existing rock revetment adjacent to Greenways Estate in the east. This includes the construction and continuation of a new Strand sea wall and promenade along this whole section. Budget has been allocated for this work and the second phase of the sea wall project is presently in design phase. Following completion of detail design and procurement of a suitable contractor, construction work is scheduled to commence in mid-2023,’ said Alderman Nieuwoudt.