DURBAN: 010611 Old pic. vs New pic of the durban beach front swimming pools. PICTURE: GCINA DWALANE

Durban - The final phase of the Durban Golden Mile upgrade has reached its halfway mark and the cost of this part of the development is estimated to be about R120 million.

Construction began earlier this year after the Environmental Affairs Department gave the eThekwini municipality the green light to proceed with the upgrade, which involves improvements from Country Club Beach to Blue Lagoon.

Included in the contract for this phase is the rehabilitation of the southern bank to the uMgeni River, new car parking lots at Blue Lagoon Beach, extension of the Beach Promenade, better lighting, rehabilitation of the dunes, landscaping and new picnic areas.

The extension of the promenade between the two beaches alone was likely to cost about R90m, taking the cost of the development to nearly R300m.

Mike Andrews, deputy head of the city’s strategic projects unit, said the current contract began in March and would be completed by the end of February next year.

He said R15m was spent in the 2011/12 financial year and he expected that the balance of R64m would be spent in the current financial year.

“In addition… we are out to tender for new structures for traders at Blue Lagoon Pier and subject to funding, new pools at Blue Lagoon Beach which will all cost in the order of R40m, giving an overall cost for phase two of the project of approximately R120m,” he said.

The first phase was completed before the 2010 World Cup. The extension was from uShaka Beach in the south to Country Club 1 Beach.

About R75m was spent on lengthening and widening the promenade, allowing for ease of movement, in the first phase of the revamp. - The Mercury