Repairs are being done to the Garstfontein Road bridge crossing the N1, which has been damaged by trucks. Picture: Jacques Naude / INLSA
Pretoria – The N1 is used by all sorts of vehicles, including trucks. But some of the heavy duty vehicles are so tall that they damage the bridges.

The Garsfontein Road bridge is among those that have been badly damaged, so much so that it now requires major repairs.

The repairs follow the demolition of the pedestrian bridge next to Solomon Mahlangu Drive in 2016, which had been damaged beyond repair, leaving the South African National Roads Agency Limited with no option but to demolish it.

The Garsfontein Road bridge was also hit repeatedly by trucks; the situation was reported to the City of Tshwane, and later referred to Sanral.

The bridge made headlines across the globe in 2014 when one of the two giraffes being transported on the trailer of a truck knocked its head when the large vehicle drove beneath it.

The incident angered the SPCA which pointed out that there was a code for wildlife transport, and open transport with the giraffes’ head sticking out was not acceptable. The animals had been blindfolded so they couldn’t even see the bridges.

One of these giraffes died when it hit the Garsfontein Road bridge in 2014. Picture: Twitter

The good news is that there will be very little disruptions to traffic, because the work to repair damage will be done at night.

On Monday Sanral said the north-bound carriageway had been repeatedly badly damaged by the impact of vehicles that were too high to use the road. this prompted Sanral to appoint a contractor to install strengthening steel plates on the underside to protect the bridge from the impact of the vehicles.

Motorists have been warned to expect temporary traffic restrictions as lanes will be closed down.

Project leader Vuyiso Msipa said: “The public is informed that due to the repair work on the bridge, there will be night time lane closures along the N1 northbound carriageway.”

He said the first phase lane closures included two lanes on the left hand side of the carriageway, leaving two lanes on the right open for the public.

“These lane closures started on 8 March and are scheduled to be done by 15 March,” he said.

Night work

He said the work was done between 9pm and 6am, allowing for traffic flow as commuters went about the business of the day.

Msipa said the bridge had one lane opened to allow for a smooth flow of traffic and no traffic jams had been reported as a result.

Trucks had to pass beneath the bridge because it was damaged by the impact from vehicles travelling northbound which were too high. The trucks caused temporary delays as traffic was backed up for less than an hour.

The second phase would see lane closures on the right hand side of the carriageway, said Msipa. This was scheduled to start on Monday and go on until 22 March 22.

“It will also be done between 9pm and 6am and over this period the two lanes on the left will be open for the public.”

He said all four lanes would be reopened to the public from 6am on Wednesday 22 March.

Pretoria News