No more stop-and-go

Traffic backs up behind the stop-go between Clovelly and Kalk Bay.

It will not be surprising if you hear great songs of joy from commuters: no more stop-go on Main Road from Friday September 16.

You heard that correctly: two-way traffic from Clovelly to Kalk Bay from that date.

Andy Rush of Kayad Knight Piesold Consulting, the consulting road engineers for the City of Cape Town’s Main Road reconstruction project being constructed by Martin & East, gave this long-awaited news at a community liaison meeting last week in Kalk Bay.

The temporary two-way road will be on the sea edge of the construction. Traffic is already travelling on part of this route, and the filling in of the rest of the seaside retaining wall to road height and its preparation for road surfacing is due to be completed mid-September, enabling the two-way traffic.

Later on in the project, the seaside (southbound) part of the road will becoming a pavement once again, once the mountainside (northbound) side of the road has been completed.

Mr Rush said at last week’s meeting that the stop-go had been due to be moved to the bridge over the Silvermine river – between Clovelly and Fish Hoek near the Clovelly Road intersection – yesterday, Wednesday August 24 and that they would attempt to have a slip lane for Clovelly residents.

Once the stop-go was no longer operating, there would be the occasional stop-go for normal construction purposes, such as asphalt delivery, but these would be of a temporary duration.

Even though the road would be two-way, commuters would not be whizzing along, but are likely to stick to the lower 40km/* speed limit for vehicles travelling in a construction zone.

Mr Rush said their planning had anticipated a worst-case scenario of 1 200 vehicles an hour, but they were getting less than 1 000 – possibly because of vehicles using other routes. Ou Kaapse Weg has been getting between 2 000 and 3 000 vehicles an hour.

Their count of an average of 12 500 vehicles a day on Main Road during the stop-go period is less than the 19 000 vehicles a day prior to the stop-go.

Part of the Main Road project is to install upgraded underground infrastructure such as stormwater, sewerage, water mains and optic fibres, and the project had reached a milestone on July 22 when the newly installed 700mm bulk water mains was completed and became fully operational. Meanwhile, the next section of the domestic main is being installed.

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Once again, the time-saving method of using a temporary feed while dismantling and removing the existing line is to be used. This means that the new mains can go in the trenches formerly occupied by the old mains and the team will not have to break new rock to install the upgraded water mains.

Other work of a more landscaping nature is the demolition of the former station platform at Clovelly. This was requested by the community as it had become a security risk, as had the arches under the former pavement, which have now been filled in and are part of the supporting wall. Environmental approval has been given for the demolition of the platform and the road team were waiting for Prasa to give them a date allowing them on site. The supporting wall has been clad with stone and is about 60% complete, and plants are being planted on the steep slope between the wall and the road.

Mr Rush said that some of the bushes had already been vandalised.

The City’s Paul Booth said that the bushes would be moved further down the slope so that they did not obstruct the view across to the sea.

Access to Woolleys Pool was still unsafe, said Mr Rush, and they would be investigating alternative access to the pool.

The Muizenberg side of the roadworks is mainly concerned with finishing touches such as parking: the pump station near York Road has been demolished and made place for extra parking. Parking areas are being constructed between Main Road and the railway line below the retaining wall, in the vicinity of Muizenberg station.

Then along the entire route there will be information boards. Mr Booth and local historical societies (Kalk Bay and St James, and Muizenberg) have been working together on a series of boards to put along Main Road “to whet people’s appetites” about the historical and cultural aspects of the area from Muizenberg to Clovelly. Of the 11 topics for the boards are religion, fishing, architecture, a coastal resort, indigenous people and mountains and the sea.