Norwood’s Avenue Road Bridge Set for R7.5 Million Upgrade
Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has embarked on the R7.5 million upgrade of Avenue Road Bridge in Norwood, following severe flood damage sustained during heavy rainfall in February.
An investigation into the existing stormwater structure revealed that the pipes have broken and are dislocated from the trench. The failing support structures have put additional pressure on the stormwater drainage system. Kerb inlets on the roadway are blocked, the parapet wall, bridge abutments and water channel have collapsed. Soil erosion has also resulted in a 5m deep trench a meter away from the sidewalk, which poses a risk to pedestrians.
JRA Managing Director, Dr Sean Phillips confirmed: “JRA project managers have finalized inspection, planning is underway and the rehabilitation of the bridge has been scheduled for the 2017/2018 financial year. Having been built in 1926, the bridge falls under the protection of the Gauteng Provincial Heritage Resources Authority as per the National Heritage Resources Act. Buildings and structures which are of cultural significance or other special value are deemed to form part of the national estate which the Act seeks to preserve. Through the rehabilitation of Avenue Road Bridge, the structural integrity of the bridge will be reinforced for future sustainable use and in doing so safeguard the cultural significance of the 91 year of structure.”
The project will include demolition of the current damaged stormwater drainage system and the construction of a new structure. Repairs will also be undertaken to the existing bridge and stream crossing, main sewer line and to other important services. The river banks will undergo reshaping and re-vegetation along with the installation of gabion walls to prevent soil erosion. The rehabilitation of Avenue Road Bridge will eliminate future flooding risks. Until the rehabilitation commences, the public are advised to exercise caution in the area during heavy rainfall.