Road damage assessed in Eastern Cape

2012-10-22 22:21
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Johannesburg - Disaster management teams and road agency officials were assessing the rain damage to roads in the Eastern Cape, the local government department said on Monday.

"Following a weekend of heavy rains, flooding and bad weather, our disaster management officials are busy mopping up and attending to minor loose ends," spokesperson Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha said.

Displaced people and affected households, commercial centres and community amenities were also being assessed for damage and a decision would be made on whether to declare a state of emergency in those areas.

On the N2, an embankment had collapsed, leaving a 45m gap in the road, cutting off access between Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth. The road had been closed to traffic.

The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) was looking at both the cause and the best methods to repair the road. It was examining repairing gravel roads to create a detour for light vehicles. The full embankment repair was expected to continue into 2013.

Sanral-recommended alternative routes were via the R343, leading off the N2 about 10km west of Grahamstown to Kenton-on-Sea, and then via the R72 to Port Elizabeth.

A much longer alternative from Grahamstown via the R350 to Bedford, Cookhouse and the N10 to Port Elizabeth, was also available.

The N2, between Peddie and King Williams Town had been reopened to traffic.

On the N2 Port Elizabeth bypass, one lane of the freeway was closed at the Standford Road interchange, which would have affect peak hour traffic.

There was a partial collapse of the R72 between Port Alfred and Alexandria. Temporary arrangements had been made to open one lane, with a "stop and go" operation in place.

People travelling between Port Elizabeth and East London should turn onto the R63 just outside King Williams Town, continue through Fort Beaufort and Bedford to the N10 near Cookhouse, then continue with the N10 past Paterson to Nanaga to join the N2 to Port Elizabeth.

This was the recommended route for all heavy vehicles travelling between the Port Elizabeth and East London.

The St Francis Bridge in Humansdorp had collapsed, and the Kasoga Bridge between Kenton-on-Sea and Port Alfred was near collapse.

Other areas affected were Kouga, the Nelson Mandela Metro, and the Ndlambe municipality.

Drivers were advised to exercise extreme caution on all roads as the prolonged rains had increased the rate of pothole development.

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