Construction along Minauch raises concerns

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Bedfordview and Edenvale News

“The challenges are that Ekurhuleni cannot interfere because it is a Rand Water project,”

Ongoing construction related to a Rand Water project along Minauch Road has left much to be desired by community members David Hearn and Ward 92 Clr Kade Guerreiro.

Starting in July 2019 the project is replacing a section of pipes located between Hurlyvale and Kelvin.

Although the project spans three kilometres in distance, the concerns highlighted by the community are located between the Minauch and Cunningham roads intersection, towards the Barbara Road Bridge.

Hearn believes the ongoing project jeopardises the community’s safety and is contributing to the deterioration of Minauch Road.

In several locations along Minauch Road, there are deep excavations, which Hearn said are either poorly barricaded or without barricades to warn pedestrians of the potential danger.

In addition, Hearn pointed out that in some locations along the construction site, the fence was used to prevent pedestrians from crossing the R24 and is now used to prevent the public from accessing the worksite. It sometimes hangs into Minauch Road.

“This reduces the width of the carriageway and creates a threat to motorists and cyclists.”

As a cyclist who frequently uses Minauch Road Hearn believes something needs to urgently be done about the project.

He said heavy machinery operating on Minauch Road has led to its deterioration. Construction vehicles have damaged the pavement and the road’s surface.

“The project has to be completed as soon as possible and the site needs to be rehabilitated and made safe for the community.”

Guerreiro said the ongoing project has seen Rand Water lay new pipes parallel to Minauch Road.

“We are grateful that Rand Water is installing new piping. In the long run, it will benefit those who it supplies but in the meantime, the project has badly damaged Minauch Road,” said Guerreiro.

Besides the project damaging the road, Guerreiro raised concerns about soil erosion from the construction site during heavy storms, washing water and soil towards the neighbouring community. “That’s why we need rehabilitation.”

Elaborating on pedestrian safety Guerreiro said, “Once the project is complete Rand Water must ensure the South African National Roads Agency erects new fencing along the R24.”

Speaking about Hearns’s concerns regarding the project Guerreiro said he has brought it to the attention of Rand Water.

“The challenge is Ekurhuleni cannot interfere because it is a Rand Water project,” said Guerreiro.

“I cannot stop the contractors nor tell them what to do. However, I have given them some requests.”

Some requests Guerreiro has submitted include a new road with new signage.

Before that gets done, Guerreiro said, the project needs to be finished.

“There has also been a request for traffic calming measures.

“EMPD Officers have been helpful across the ward.”

Rand Water spokesperson Justice Mohale explained the project was implemented to replace a leaking three-kilometre portion of the H5 Pipeline.

Community member David Hearn met with the NEWS to discuss some of his concerns regarding the construction project along Minauch Road. He can be seen standing near a excavation which he described as being poorly demarcated and barricaded.

He said the scope of the project entails the construction and commissioning of the 750mm H5 Pipeline.

Started almost three years ago, the project is expected to be completed by August this year.

Mohale said the project is running according to schedule.

He said an extension of the completion period was granted until August, in line with the conditions of the contract.

Addressing the concerns about the barricades around the excavations Mohale said the contractor is on-site and ensures that there are sufficient barricades and signage.

“The contractor will also consult with the affected stakeholders to understand their concerns.”

With regards to safety concerns identified by Hearn, Mohale said the contractor is obliged to keep the site safe at all times, as per safety legislation.

“Measures are in place to continuously comply with these safety requirements,” explained Mohale.

“The site will continue to be barricaded and adequate signage is maintained.”

Mohale said once the project is completed the fencing along the R24 will be repaired and Minauch Road rehabilitated. Rehabilitation at the site will be done according to engineering and environmental management standards.

Guerreiro said residents are frustrated about the length the project has taken to complete.

He said the inconvenience of the project especially knowing that it has damaged the road caused frustration among residents.

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