Main Road nearly collapses

2015-05-12 06:00
A trench collapsed during work on the Main Road rehabilitation programme in Muizenberg.

nicole mccain

A trench collapsed during work on the Main Road rehabilitation programme in Muizenberg. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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Drivers on Main Road have experienced delays as the road was closed twice last week to allow for heavy work.

Main Road was closed to cars after a trench collapsed during excavation work last Monday.

The aim of the current rehabilitation project is to replace the 500mm diameter water main with a 700mm ductile iron pipe, Andrew Rush of Kayad Knight Piesold Consulting, the engineer and project management team for the third phase of the Main Road rehabilitation programme, previously told People’s Post (“Complete road closure looms”, 10 July 2014). This is currently the only source of water to the far south.

Rush says with the close proximity to sewerage pipes, stormwater drains and cables, engineers had very little space to insert the new 700mm water main. In addition, the old 500mm water main cannot be removed without having the new one in place, he says.

Workers are digging a two-metre deep trench to install the new services and this, Rush says, will make the road unstable.

Crew members were working on a section near the railway station, when adjacent pipes started leaking into the trench, subcouncil chairperson Felicity Purchase explains. The road was on the verge of collapsing, which forced the construction crew to close it.

“They couldn’t risk any vehicles on the road so it was closed for safety,” she says.

With no traffic or imminent danger of the road collapsing, the crew was able to finish laying the pipes. This allowed the road to be opened to peak traffic.

However, the near collapse of the road has the crew taking extra precautions during excavations, with the road closed on Thursday as more pipes were laid, Purchase says

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