The Western Cape government says it is working tirelessly to reopen roads affected by inclement weather that devastated parts of the province over the Heritage long weekend, and caused an estimated R500 million worth of damage to provincial roads.
“Our primary focus is on reopening all affected roads when it is safe to do so. Our repair and reconstruction efforts are a top priority,” said Premier Alan Winde. “This process cannot be rushed. Unfortunately, this will take time. But we are doing everything we can to return full economic activity to the hardest hit regions.”
Infrastructure MEC Tertuis Simmers said as teams on the ground continue with assessments and reconstruction of the damaged road infrastructure, road users are urged to take note of safety and road closure signs.
“I have seen first-hand that some roads appear safe to pass, but the damage may not be visible, as it may exist below the surface of the road.
“When a road is closed, it is closed for all vehicles, including motorcycles as well as bicycles and pedestrians. We have had alarming reports of people cycling through closed sections and walking through affected areas to take photos.”
The latest update on the road closures is as follows:
Franschhoek Pass remains closed due to several landslides along the road. On-site repair teams are working to reopen one lane of traffic by October 31. Once a single lane has been reopened, traffic will be managed through stop/go traffic operations.
Clarence Drive remains closed for “through traffic”, with only a section of the road opened from the Gordon’s Bay approach up to The Grille Shack restaurant. On-site repair teams are working from both The Grille Shack and Rooi Els sides of the closure to restore parts of the road that repair teams can reach. Authorities are aiming to reopen one lane of traffic along Clarence Drive by mid to late December.
The Hemel-en-Aarde road between Caledon and the R43 near Hermanus remains temporarily closed after flood damage caused portions of the road to be scoured and washed away by the Onrusrivier. On-site repair teams are working to have the road reopened for one-lane traffic by the end of October. Once a single lane has been reopened, temporary traffic accommodation measures will be implemented through stop/go traffic signals. Permanent repairs of the damaged road and road infrastructure is estimated to cost R80 million.
Progress is being made to fully reopen the road between the R317 and McGregor. Both lanes of this road are expected to be reopened to traffic by October 20. The entire project, including resurfacing, is expected to be complete by October 31.
A single lane of traffic is currently open at the intersection of the R43 and the R44 near Kleinmond. The repairs to the failed culvert at this intersection are expected to be complete by late January 2024.
The road through Meiringspoort (N12), between the towns of Klaarstroom and De Rust, has been cleared of debris and siltation from the river over topping some of the low water structures and is currently open to traffic.
It is hoped that Chapman’s Peak Drive will be reopened by the end of this week. This is subject to clearance from geo-technical consultants.