Frigate resurfacing gets underway amid concerns

2019-06-18 06:00

Last week residents from Sun Valley weighed in on the way forward regarding the upgrades of Frigate Crescent, set to commence today (Tuesday 18 June), as part of the greater Kommetjie Road and Ou Kaapse Weg Upgrade Project.

The need to upgrade the road stems from the wear-and-tear that has resulted from heavy daily usage by commuters.

The proposed upgrade would impose commuter implications, and detours – a decision which was made at the community meeting last week.

About 12 residents from the Sun Valley area, who would be directly affected, attended the meeting to come to a conclusion on which of the two options would be best suited to meet the needs of the community.

“Why do we want to fix Frigate? There’s two things really,” said Charl Avenant, resident engineer on the project from HHO Consulting Engineers.

“Essentially, the levels changed slightly with the upgrading and reconstruction of Ou Kaapse Weg and the road itself has a bit of crocodile cracking; and around about Chebec there is quite a bit of distressing on the paving. We want to restore the strength in the road. We also have a bit of a drainage conundrum which we hope to address at the same time.”

Sadia Chand, director of Chand Environmental Consultants who are responsible for the public liaison related to the road upgrade, added: “The decision out of this meeting is what is going to reign. This construction is best served during school holidays. It’s also very important for the contractors to put this through before the rains.”

Option one was a two-week full road closure of Frigate Crescent up to Corsair Road which would result in commuters who enter Ou Kaapse Weg from Frigate Crescent being forced to make their way around to Kommetjie Road to enter Ou Kaapse Weg.

Option two was a four-week semi-road closure of Frigate up to Corsair Road which would allow for the flow of one-way traffic, bearing implications on the flow of traffic in the opposite direction and forcing those commuters to once again make their way to Kommetjie Road to enter Ou Kaapse Weg.

Residents posed questions regarding the back-up of traffic that would result from either option, to which Chand responded that neither is ideal but to get it out of the way in the three weeks of school holiday would be the best case scenario due to the lightened traffic load during peak hours.

A number of suggestions were made to try alleviate the imminent backlog, which included the installation of temporary speed humps at the intersection of Longboat Street and Ou Kaapse Weg or to turn the intersection into a four-way stop.

Sun Valley resident, Tony Lindeque’s sentiment was shared by the residents in attendance. “I think what you’re trying to do is a brilliant idea, but I suggest – if possible – a set of traffic lights at Longboat to make the traffic stop because before all of this happened, that road was a high speed highway. People coming on Kommetjie Road are all coming at high speed and jump that red robot,” he said, explaining that it would be near impossible for commuters to enter the road.

Francois Rossouw, from Martin & East civil engineering construction company, explained that the usage of these suggested temporary measures would depend on permissions from the City and could take as long as a week to implement, which was already at the time of the meeting too short a period to the commencement of the upgrades. By the end of the meeting it was a unanimous vote of 12 residents in favour of option one, with a nine to two split for residents in favour of traffic-calming measures such as pointsmen or a four-way stop at Longboat Road.

Upon deliberation by the City, it was decided on Friday 14 June that option 1 would be implemented. After some consideration the engineers decided the suggested four-way stop at Longboat could create more problems and it is further believed that the construction works already provide a traffic calming effect.

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