HAZARD: The City of Joburg has embarked on replacing manhole covers.
The Cork Avenue bridge in Ferndale, Randburg, is finally open to the public after a six-month, R7.3million emergency reconstruction after severe floods damaged it.

The bridge is now accessible to all road users, residents and pedestrians.

The repairs to the bridge form part of the Johannesburg Roads Agency’s (JRA) city-wide repair and rehabilitation of stormwater drainage systems to ensure safe and accessible roads and related infrastructure.

The bridge was declared unsafe for public use following heavy rainfall and flash flooding in January that destroyed the low-lying bridge over the Klein Jukskei River.

“Earlier this year, the city was hard hit by excessive damage to infrastructure due to severe weather conditions, which necessitated a R103.5million emergency repair investment for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of six city bridges.

“To ensure public safety, risk mitigation strategies were implemented to swiftly address the collapsing Cork Avenue bridge.

“Following a flood impact assessment, the bridge’s demolition and reconstruction was prioritised at R7.3million. The project was embarked upon in early February and has taken six months to complete,” said member of the mayoral committee responsible for transport Nonhlanhla Makhuba.

A site inspection after the flood damage revealed the extent of damage to the structure. The existing sewer line and other services were severely exposed due to excessive erosion caused by the failure of the stream crossing.

Makhuba said that as part of the reconstruction, a three-metre-high gabion wall was established on either side of the bridge’s stormwater inlet and outlet to support increased water volumes; a 12m gabion mattress had been installed; de-siltation had been carried out; and rubble and debris had been removed.

Guardrails and culverts had also been replaced and the JRA had increased the vegetation on the banks to address soil erosion. The retaining walls had been reconstructed, and road signs swept away by the stormwater had been replaced.

“I would like to thank the residents of Joburg for their patience while we address the current problems of stormwater drains flooding.

“We are committed to building and preserving our stormwater infrastructure.

“Furthermore, we encourage residents to continue to report any road, traffic light or infrastructure faults on the JRA’s Find & Fix App,” Makhuba said.