Bridge collapses on Witkoppen Road

2011-03-26 07:37

A bridge along Witkoppen Road in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs collapsed this morning due to heavy rains, according to metro police.

Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said the bridge crosses over Braamfontein Spruit, which is the longest stream in Johannesburg.

It collapsed between Rivonia Road and Witkoppen Road in Sunninghill at 5am.

“As a result, Witkoppen Road has been blocked off,” he said.

Motorists were advised to use William Nicol Drive as an alternative route.

No motorists were injured, Minnaar said.

“Clean up operations will occur throughout the day. There is no chance that the road will be opened any time soon.”

Johannesburg Emergency Services were also searching for a man who was washed away while crossing a pedestrian bridge on 21st Avenue in Alexandra yesterday afternoon.

Spokesman Percy Morokane said he and the bridge were washed away due to heavy rains.

Ellen Chauke, a spokeswoman for Alexandra residents, said the man was the third person to go missing in the river in less than three weeks.

She said many homes on the river banks were flooded during yesterday’s downpour.

A shack near the Jukskei River was also washed away during the early hours of this morning. No details were immediately available.

The M1 from Glenhove Road to Houghton Drive was also flooded, Morokane said.

He said that two cars were immobilised by the flood waters, causing congestion on the highway. An emergency team was sent to help the drivers.

Areas in northeast Johannesburg, including Norwood, Oaklands and Orchards, were flooded, but there were no cases of missing people in these areas.

Morokane said a flood alert was issued in Soweto, but the rainfall there was within normal levels.

People, particularly those in rural areas, should take precautions when alerts were issued, he said.

These included making transport arrangements and making provision for children, the elderly and pets.

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