‘Damaged road a danger’

A truck and trailer are parked in the road near the entrance to the construction site.

Residents living near a sprawling retirement village development in Fish Hoek say their roads are covered in sand and gravel and pockmarked with potholes by trucks and earthmoving equipment, and they’ve accused the developer of squirming out of a promise to clean up its mess.

Harrington and Ranger roads – near the entrance to the construction site – have taken a beating over the past year as the Evergreen Lifestyle Centre has taken shape nearby, residents say.

And this is not the first time the developer has irked residents. It made headlines in December last year and again in March for breaching national dust regulations (“Village in Dust bust,” Echo, December 14 and “Another dust bust for Evergreen developer,” Echo, March 8).

Byron Bothman said he had seriously injured his shoulder and damaged his scooter last month after its back wheel skidded in loose sand on the road.

He had been booked off for two weeks, was on medication and had needed several visits to the doctor, he said.

The road is permanently covered in sand, gravel and loose concrete, and the corner was full of small potholes made by trucks and other construction vehicles, he said. And huge delivery vehicles parked in the road frequently, blocking it and posing a danger.

Mr Bothman said he had not reported the accident to Evergreen as he was focussed on his recovery. Another resident, Laurence Friedman, agreed the road was dangerous.

“Cars skid on the gravel, motorcyclists and cyclists have to exercise extreme caution on that bend, and I have witnessed children falling off their bicycles,” he said.

After several complaints to Evergreen, Cobus Bedeker, its development director, assured residents in an email, dated April 2, which the Echo has a copy of, that the entrance road and Harrington Road would be swept at least three to four times a day, but the residents say this is not happening.

“We don’t want them to clean the mess; we want them to stop making the mess. We should not have to complain and remind them every week. They have a civic responsibility to manage their site and the emissions from it themselves. Sometimes they sweep the road once a week; other times, not at all,” said Mr Friedman.

Instead, he said, Evergreen had cleared the weeds on the pavement in Harrington Road, put down stone chip and planted a few trees.

“This does not stop the mess spewing from their gate it only makes the sidewalk look better,” he said.

Residents said they had also lodged a complaint with the City of Cape Town roads and traffic department and with the local building inspector.

We want the Harrington Road entrance to be closed and the developers to use the main entrance on Blackhill Road (Glencairn Expressway),” Mr Friedman said.

Mr Friedman added that Chapman’s Bay development had none of the issues they had experienced and its entrance was on Ou Kaapseweg, which was a lot busier than Glencairn Expressway.

Area co-ordinator of the Risiview Neighbourhood Watch, Linzi Malloch, said construction vehicles and trucks headed to the construction site were not sticking to the 40km/* speed limit on the mountainside roads and trucks were using residential roads instead of Link Road to get to and from the site, and residents were at risk of being knocked over.

A few weeks ago, a dog had been seriously injured after being dragged under a bakkie making its way to the site via Quarry Road, she said.

“What if it was a child?” she said. Trucks and trailers were also often parked on the wrong side of the road blocking it.

She said an influx of people asking for employment at the entrance to the site posed a security risk.

She added Evergreen had two entrances, and the one on Glencairn Expressway, used by those who had already moved into the development’s completed units, was in “pristine condition”.

Mr Bedeker told the Echo that any damage to the road caused by Evergreen’s contractors would be rectified and it would be “reinstated to its original condition once the development is complete”.

He said the road was a public road and not only used by Evergreen but served the entire neighbourhood.

He said contractors confirmed on Friday October 19 that the road is swept and cleaned twice a day and said the email he had sent to residents on April 2 did not amount to a formal agreement but rather to a general commitment to cleaning as often as needed and sent the Echo pictures of workers sweeping the road.

“We will sweep the road once in the morning, once in the afternoon and in-between if needed,” he said.

Eddie Andrews, area south Mayco member, said the developer was responsible for all damage to municipal infrastructure caused by construction on the site.

He said the City had contacted the developer’s consultant regarding the matter and was awaiting feedback with respect to timelines for the necessary repairs to be done.