Beacon Bay link road gives hope to Gonubie commuters
EMBATTLED and embittered Gonubie commuters have been given a glimpse of hope after government gave an environmental goahead for a link road to Beacon Bay.
The announcement comes as contractors working on the Gonubie Main Road upgrade project started laying the first reinforced concrete that will form the road surface.
Ian Swartz of CBM Africa, the consulting engineer for Buffalo City Metro (BCM), said it would take 14 days for the concrete to cure.
The roadworks have strangled traffic flow, causing city workers to waste up to an hour crawling homewards in dangerous and frustrating stop-go traffic.
Two people have died in the chaos since BCM started constructing the four-lane road.
The link road between Gonubie and Beacon Bay was effectively given the green light on May 19 when the department of economic development, environmental affairs and tourism (Dedeat) signed a 12-page environmental authorisation for the construction of the arterial road.
This route will traverse the Quinera area and will include construction of bridges and storm water outlets.
On May 22, BCM’s environmental consultant, Michelle Puzilewicz, told interested and affected parties they had until June 1 to appeal to Dedeat.
It is not clear at this stage when work on the road will begin.
Buffalo City Ratepayers’ Forum chairman Andre Swart said Gonubie residents would benefit from the proposed Quinera road but the road from Quinera circle to Batting Bridge had to be turned into four lanes to prevent traffic congestion being shifted from Gonubie to Beacon Bay.
Meanwhile, the much-awaited construction of one of four lanes of reinforced concrete along Gonubie Main Road has added to traffic snarl-ups as commuters gawped at the first 140mstretch being laid.
Swartz said they wanted to complete the 4.6m-wide lane by mid-July. This would create a smooth homeward flow.
Swartz said another 120m of concrete road was being lined up for pouring and casting yesterday and a further 150m for today and tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the April storm damage to the temporary slurried surface had been largely superficial and confined to the surface and only two sections are under further review at this stage.
However, the key test was to allow traffic on the areas to see if they held up.
Swartz said: “The best way is to expose it to traffic and if there is structural failure it will reveal itself. If so, then the area in question will be opened up and repaired to meet specification.”
He said the aim was to complete over 400m by Thursday when work would stop for payday. It would resume on Monday but this would be a set-up day and paving would only start again in earnest on Tuesday.
On the downside, the roadbuilders hit a bulk water main last week north of Quinera Drive and that had meant repairs. An assessment was being awaited. —