Public to choose design for pedestrian bridge

2018-05-23 06:02

IN a matter of a few weeks, the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) will complete the Flemming Street environmental upgrade, an important link in creating a connection between the Vuyisile Mini Square and the Baakens area.

The improvements on Flemming Street have seen the reconfiguration of the street into a beautiful landscape landing itself for unique public events and the arts.

It now offers additional parking to ease the congestion on Govan Mbeki Road and generally the space lands itself for multiple uses as another meeting spot in the Bay.

To complete the link between the inner city and the Baakens, the MBDA is in the final phase of planning a pedestrian bridge that will span the Baakens River from the cityside to the valleyside. The bridge, when constructed, will lead to a boardwalk connection to the rest of the valley offerings. The agency and its consultant team have produced a number of designs of which the public must choose a design.

MDBA spokesperson Luvuyo Bangazi said, “The Baakens Valley precinct is one of the key focus areas of the agency for the current financial year. A significant amount of work has gone into the planning and design of the upgrade and rejuvenation of this precinct.”

For the last few years, the agency has been chipping away and implementing the master plan.

“The Baakens is special because of its history and heritage linked to South End, as well as its unique position, an intersection of river and port at the heart of the city,” Bangazi said.

“Studies have shown that this area has great potential as a tourism node, a creative industry hub and in future, a mixed use development precinct that will see people live, work and play in the area. All the plans we are implementing are aimed at capitalising on all of these aspects.”

The purpose of the Baakens Valley pedestrian bridge is to continue the walkway currently underway at the back of Vuyisile Mini Square on Flemming Street.

The bridge connection is an important component in the city’s movement plan which is to link the Baakens Valley with the city centre.

It will further enable access to more parking areas on the north bank of the river for events on the south bank. This will influence increased numbers of visitors to activities happening in the Tramways Building and other urban regeneration and tourism events in the Valley.

The bridge will provide a safe walking route for pedestrians to slightly alleviate the parking congestion currently experienced by the city and provide easy connection to pedestrians from the city centre to the valley.

The bridge is primarily designed to be functional and practical. The Baakens River is also known for its 100-year flood line and so the bridge is designed to withstand the occasional flood.

The agency is also considering the use of composite materials due to their strength and environmental and versatile characteristics.

Construction on the bridge will take 10 to 12 months to complete.

Members of the public are welcome to make their choice known by emailing or visiting the MBDA’s Facebook page and taking part in the poll.


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