Gonubie roadworks causing upset

The section of road to be widened once work commences on Gonubie Main Road. Sewage water is seen flowing out from the cracked manhole.
The section of road to be widened once work commences on Gonubie Main Road. Sewage water is seen flowing out from the cracked manhole.
Image: Supplied

Upgrades to Gonubie Main Road have been at a standstill since July, infuriating residents.

Motorists using the road have had to deal with a cracked sewage manhole, a dismantled pavement and non-existent road markings.

Gonubie Ratepayers Association vice-president Henri Smit and ward 29 councillor Andre Swart are demanding repairs.

Smit said the manhole, which is on a 40m stretch of pavement outside a complex of car repair businesses, had been broken by workers during the ongoing upgrades to the road.

He said there had been a recent temporary fix to the manhole, but not before sewage had spewed out in front of the business premises.

Smit said: “Sewage was flowing out of the manhole for a couple of months and there is still a bad stench and it affects the businesses here.

“It was recently fixed, but even that fix-up is faulty.

“The outer cement structure of the manhole is still cracked so when it rains, the sand gets into the pipe and it clogs up.”

Smit said road markings had also been removed during the initial upgrades.

He said 200m of the main road, stretching from near the Gonubie Police Station to the first traffic circle exiting Gonubie, had been without markings for months.

This made it very dangerous when driving at night or if it rained.

“We’ve also had problems with the lights along the road. They are often out and although they do get fixed regularly, the combination of no lines and poor visibility at night makes it an extremely dangerous road.”

Swart said the work had apparently been stopped due to labour issues, but residents had not been informed of when or if the work would resume again.

Buffalo City Metro spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya confirmed that “labour issues” had caused the standstill, but did not elaborate.

The Dispatch visited the site and found the manhole was still cracked, although no sewage leak could be seen, and the markings on the 200m stretch of road were invisible.

On Wednesday morning, a week after the Dispatch visited the area, Smit said a contractor was seen on site.

“I was contacted by the business owners on that road and they said the contractor had put some safety nets around the manhole,” Smit said.

Ngwenya said work on the road was expected to resume at the end of September and that a portion of the sewer line would be replaced beforehand.

Ngwenya said: “The road is to be widened to accommodate four lanes up to where the proposed Beacon Bay-Gonubie Link road and Gonubie Main Road will intersect.”

This intersection will be between First Street and the Gonubie police station.

He said the upgrades should be complete by June 2020, but this was dependent on the availability of funds.

He said the roads division would ensure that the road markings were reinstated and maintained for the duration of the construction period.