Wall to stop erosion

2016-02-02 06:00

A proposal to increase the lifetime of the railway between Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town has been unveiled to the public.

Remedial measures at the Glencairn beach, to prevent erosion damaging the rail line, are being planned by the City of Cape Town in partnership with the provincial public works department and the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (Prasa).

A 2013 study found there was a high risk of wind-blown sand accumulation as well as the possibility of wave inundation. Both pose severe threats to the infrastructure along the beach, including the beach parking, Main Road and rail line.

The concept design which is currently the preferred one constitutes two sections of wave return wall on the most northern and southern sides of the beach and will see the dune rehabilitated. The two sections of wall will be joined by Geotextile sandbag revetments.

At a public meeting to present the proposal last week, City officials explained that the Geotextile structure will be made of sandbags, which it is believed will be visually agreeable and improve beach access, as they can be walked on. The bags have been used successfully in the Middle East, as well as in Port Elizabeth.

The remnants of the dune on the beach, which is now eroded due to a lack of maintenance, will be reshaped and plant material will be rescued for re-use. The back of the dune will be planted with Marram grass and local species.

A fence will be installed to deter beach­goers from accessing and disturbing the dune. Maintenance of the dune will be done by the City.

The alternative design concept would see a wall installed along the beach, although this will prove more costly and is less aesthetically pleasing.

In addition to increasing the lifetime of the railway, the project is expected to provide temporary jobs to local workers as well as conserve the natural vegetation.

The design work had not yet been finalised, officials explained at the meeting. The tender process is still to be completed, and it is hoped a contractor will be on site from July.

No budget has been finalised.V Comments can be sent to Helene Botha on 076 800 4959 or heleneb@iafrica.com.

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