Ca­bles de­lay pipeline

Sunday Tribune - - FRONT PAGE -

ROADWORKS associated with the con­struc­tion of Dur­ban’s largest bulk wa­ter pipeline have in­con­ve­nienced mo­torists in the Wyebank area for three years.

Aside from traf­fic jams, they are com­plain­ing that the state of Wyebank Road is dam­ag­ing ve­hi­cles and are de­mand­ing an­swers on what has caused the in­or­di­nate de­lay in com­plet­ing the con­struc­tion of the Western Aqueduct.

The roadworks ex­tend for about 600m along the road. It con­sists of rough gravel and is re­duced to a sin­gle lane.

Mandla Shange said while he un­der­stood the need for the pipeline, the de­lays in con­struc­tion needed to be ad­dressed.

“I have to drive my daugh­ter to school in Pine­town by 8am ev­ery day and driv­ing through this sec­tion is an ab­so­lute night­mare,” said Shange.

He said the bumpy state of the road also re­sulted in ex­ces­sive wear and tear to cars, with mo­torists now hav­ing to ser­vice their ve­hi­cles more reg­u­larly.

Mo­torist Senzo Nyinde also com­plained about the ex­ces­sive con­ges­tion. “The re­moval of an en­tire lane was the worst idea ever as Wyebank Road is the only road in and out of the area,” he said.

“I don’t think the con­struc­tion should take this long. It has frus­trated many res­i­dents.” Esor Con­struc­tion is the con­trac­tor. Site agent Duane Kil­lian said the de­lays were caused by three elec­tri­cal ca­bles they dis­cov­ered un­der­ground which were not on the con­struc­tion plans.

“We had to call the city to re­move them. It took al­most seven months and we had to stop work­ing at some point. We also had to do rock blast­ing which caused ma­jor dam­age on the road and fur­ther de­lays,” said Kil­lian. Ward coun­cil­lor An­dreas Mvubu said he had met with the con­trac­tor on sev­eral oc­ca­sions re­gard­ing the de­lays.

“The con­trac­tor said he ex­pe­ri­enced dif­fi­cul­ties with the city, which needed to be re­solved be­fore he could pro­ceed with the project. He said the weather and rock blast­ing caused ma­jor de­lays,” Mvubu said.

City spokesper­son Tozi Mthethwa said there had been a few chal­lenges in im­ple­ment­ing the project such as the con­struc­tion of a large aqueduct in a nar­row space, and the re­cent heavy rains that ham­pered con­struc­tion.

“The city is aware of the in­con­ve­nience ex­pe­ri­enced by res­i­dents, and we apol­o­gise. The con­trac­tor is do­ing ev­ery­thing in his power to lessen the im­pact on res­i­dents.”

She added that on com­ple­tion, the aqueduct would add 400 me­gal­itres of wa­ter a day to the 1.1 mil­lion me­gal­itres con­sumed daily by the city.

PIC­TURE: BON­GANI MBATHA

An in­or­di­nate de­lay in com­plet­ing con­struc­tion of the Wyebank sec­tion of the Western Aqueduct bulk wa­ter pipeline, near Pine­town, has trig­gered the ire of mo­torists tired of sit­ting in traf­fic jams and dif­fi­cul­ties in get­ting in and out of the area...

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