Repairs underway near Central Ave Bridge

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Bedfordview and Edenvale News

“Although it is still a gabion solution, there are improvements from the previous design.”

Repairs in Eastleigh Spruit near Central Avenue Bridge are set to be completed by the end of June according to the City of Ekurhuleni.

The project will see gabions near the bridge repaired following the heavy rains of January 17.

The repairs were necessary after the heavy rains damaged and washed away a portion of gabions on the southern side of the bridge.

This comes after the NEWS reported in its June 8 edition that a site camp for the project was established in mid-May.

When the publication visited the bridge with Ward 19 Clr Alderman Bill Rundle on May 31 repair work had not yet started.

However, since then work in the spruit has started.

CoE spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said the reason for the delay was that there was a security risk in terms of site access.

He said the fence surrounding the stormwater channel is electrified.

“The contractor engaged with property owners and they provided an electrical contractor to assist with the removal of the wiring,” said Dlamini.

According to Dlamini, the contractor was on site as of June 6.

“The contractor has also procured all material needed for the work.”

Following the collapse of the gabions in January Rundle and Eastleigh Business owner Roelof van Aarde questioned the quality of work done when the gabions were initially installed.

Rundle said he believed the gabions which cost R1.8m were anchored correctly.

In response to this Dlamini stated that the work will be done differently this time.

“Although it is still a gabion solution, there are improvements from the previous design,” emphasised Dlamini.

He said following the collapse, a site assessment was done to find out what caused the collapse.

“It was observed that the stream was able to make its way behind the retaining wall as the wall ends were not locked.”

Because of this, the backfill material was eroded, creating more pressure behind the retaining, which ultimately led to the collapse.

“It was also observed that the stream rose to a level above the retaining wall height when it floods. This also causes the backfill material to be easily eroded,” said Dlamini.

He said the improved design includes:

• Extending one side of the gabion wall to lock against an existing building

Dlamini highlighted that this would prevent the stream from making its way behind the retaining wall.

• Applying shotcrete, a sprayed concrete or mortar, on the face of the gabion retaining wall.

“This will prevent the stream from seeping behind the retaining wall through voids.

• Installing reno mattresses at the top of the retaining walls.

“This will prevent water from flowing above the height of the retaining wall while protecting the backfill material,” said Dlamini.”

Through the implementation of these designs, Dlamini said the repair work is expected to reduce damage caused by floods.

Dlamini said in total R4.5m was allocated to the Eastleigh Spruit during the 2021/22 financial year however no funds were allocated for the 2022/23 financial year.

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