Crumbling George bypass a mystery

Posted On Friday, 05 October 2007 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Engineers are baffled because the road surface has repeatedly crumbled despite ongoing maintenance and repairs

Infrastructure IndustryThe Hope Street bypass in George, which was opened in May, is causing problems for the municipality and has engineers baffled because the road surface has repeatedly crumbled despite ongoing maintenance and repairs.

A portion of the R16-million bypass was declared a test section when the road surface started breaking up only three days after it opened on May 15.

Although traffic is allowed on the road, motorists are warned via big signs that a section of the road is still being tested.

Less than a month after opening the road, it was closed temporarily to enable contractors Constructive Civils and Kantey and Templer to carry out tests to determine the cause of the problem.

Louis du Preez, Kantey and Templer's George representative, yesterday said the road had been stripped and resurfaced with a pre-mix surfacing on the test section.

"It is not common for a road to fail after three days.

"We followed the standard quality control factors in the building of the bypass and are baffled by its failure," du Preez said.

He said the problem was a combination of factors which had caused the crumbling road surface, with local engineers and some of the country's best road experts still battling to find a long- term solution.

"We are not ignoring the problem. It will be costly, but the road will eventually be repaired," he said.

Constructive Civils director Johannes du Toit said he would wait for the results of the tests before commenting.

Deputy mayor Flip de Swardt said the council would not pay any further costs relating to the road.

"It is definitely not the fault of the municipality and we will not pay any further costs," he said.

At present the engineers are footing the repair and maintenance bill but will not disclose the amount until the municipality releases its statement following the tests.

De Swardt said one theory was that there was water seeping into the top layer as the road had not been made watertight.

De Swardt said the municipality would release a full report once tests on the bypass had been completed.

The bypass is part of a R55-million road network upgrade linking Hope and Union streets with Rand Street in the industrial area by means of an underpass.

Du Preez said the underpass would take 20 months to complete and should be finished by January 2009.

He said that part of the construction included the building of two railway bridges and the raising of one of the two railway lines to the height of the other one, before the underpass could be completed.

"We also hope to have the road link from Albert Street to Rand Street, which has been closed for upgrading since July, open by January 2008," he said.

The Hope Street/ Rand Street link is expected to take away some of the pressure being experienced in York Street by the volume of traffic south of the national road, from Pacaltsdorp and the N2/York Street interchange.

It is hoped the traffic will be channelled away from the CBD through the industrial area to the eastern side of the town.


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