Fresh fears that Boughton bridge is subsiding

2008-07-31 00:00

Boughton residents’ fears over the subsiding bridge on Mbubu (Sweetwaters) Road were heightened recently after another lane was cordoned off, raising suspicions that the bridge might be about to collapse.

The Witness reported on the closure of the left lane going up over the bridge over a year ago. Fears that the bridge is subsiding were addressed by the Msunduzi Municipality and Transnet Freight Rail, who each apparently own half of the bridge.

Municipal spokesman Evodia Mahlangu said that following extensive work by Spoornet on the areas adjacent to the bridge, it now appears that the bridge is stable for the time being and it will not be necessary to close the bridge altogether.

She added that as a longer-term solution, it would be advisable to consider the total reconstruction of the bridge because of the unstable ground conditions at this location, and this is a matter that will need to be taken up in consultation with Spoornet.

A Boughton resident alerted The Witness to the latest closure of the right-hand lane of the bridge going up. She said motorists are using only one lane.

Ward councillor Glenn McArthur said that both Transnet and the municipality have indicated that it is not the bridge that is collapsing, but rather the road surface that is subsiding due to excavations that have taken place alongside the bridge.

He said Transnet has indicated it is waiting to hear from the municipality so that it knows what to do next. “The public is understandably concerned, and the detour at the site has been there for close to a year without a statement clarifying the matter,” said McArthur.

Statements from officials about the bridge in response to requests from interested parties give the impression that they do not know what is going on, McArthur maintained.

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