Johannesburg - Two bridges in Johannesburg have been closed for safety reasons. One, the Belgrave bridge in Bryanston has been closed altogether and the other, the Harrison Street bridge, has been closed off to pedestrian traffic.
The Johannesburg Roads Agency said these closures and restrictions, with immediate effect, were a precautionary safety measures to protect road users while remedial work on the bridges was being undertaken.
JRA managing director Dr Sean Phillips said: “After consulting with a team of engineers, it was recommended that the bridges, in their current state, were unsafe for continuous use by the public.
“Given the severity of the issues, it was advised that restrictions be placed on access to the Belgrave and Harrison Street bridges with immediate effect.”
The 165 metre long Harrison Street bridge, which is more than 60 years old, requires structural repairs, including reconstruction of a parapet wall along the pedestrian sidewalk, a portion of which recently collapsed onto the railway tracks below, exposing the side of the bridge, and posing a danger to pedestrians.
Cars washed away
The Belgrave bridge has become notorious for fatalities where cars are accidentally driven over the side of the bridge and into the Braamfontein spruit below, or are washed away during flooding.
“While the JRA is investigating which remedial measures will be implemented to improve safety at the bridge, motorists are urged to obey the bridge’s closure and to make use of alternative routes, such as Bryanston Drive, to gain access between the two suburbs of Duxberry and Bryanston,” said Phillips.
Temporary road warning signs and barricades, in accordance with the South African Road Traffic Signs Manual, have been put in place on the affected bridges, to alert the public to the closures.
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