The bridge on the N4 that crosses the Groot Marico River in Groot Marico was damaged due to recent storms and rain in the region from December to February.
Liam Clarke commercial manager of Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire, operator of the N1N4 toll route, explains that one side of the bridge is damaged. For safety reasons, traffic restrictions on the bridge were introduced from Friday, 13 January 2017. These temporary restrictions will continue until the bridge has been repaired which is estimated to be about 6 months. “Bakwena has implemented a manual stop/go system. Vehicles will be able to use only the one side of the bridge that isn’t damaged, while Bakwena assesses the full extent of the damage. Only then can we establish what remedial action is required and how long it may take. We are confident the bridge is in no immediate danger to road users. Restricting traffic to one side of the bridge will reduce the amount of traffic on the bridge at the same time. This is in the interest of the safety of road users,” says Clarke.
This option was determined the most effective by Bakwena’s team of engineers. They also considered the alternative of completely closing the bridge. “However, closing the bridge altogether would have meant a 36km detour for motorists,” says Clarke.
Due to further heavy rains and the recent flash floods in early March, the preparation works for the Groot Marico bridge repairs have been delayed and as a result commencement of the repairs will take place during the autumn and winter months when the possibility of rain is minimal. The anticipated completion date for the repairs is August 2017, weather permitting.
The recent rain also resulted in the flooding of the Selons River which caused extensive damage to roadside furniture and to the road surface on the bridge crossing the river. As a result, a temporary stop/go was put in place for a period of one week in order to allow clean up works to be carried out.
“We call on motorists to exercise caution and restraint along the N1N4 route, particularly when approaching low lying areas after or during heavy rains. We thank you for your patience while we carry out the necessary clean up and repair works,” concludes Clarke.