Weather warnings for Chappies

2016-06-21 06:00

Motorists can expect intermittent road closures on Chapman’s Peak Drive this winter whenever high-risk weather conditions make the road unsafe.

The area is very exposed to strong winds, and there is a high risk of rockfalls and mudslides down the steep mountain slopes.

The wildfires of March 2015 increased the risk because damage to the vegetation made the soil less stable.

For these reasons, Entilini, the concessionaire managing the road on behalf of the Western Cape government, maintains a very cautious approach, the provincial transport and public works department says in a statement.

“Entilini’s revised incident management procedure provides for the road to be closed when wind speeds reach 54km/h, after which the road will be monitored for three hours and re-opened only once conditions are safe. When there is very steady or heavy rainfall, the road will be pre-emptively closed because of the risk of mudslides and rockfalls.”

In recent years, a number of repairs and roadworks have been undertaken to improve safety.

These include the removal of all debris flow material on the slopes above the road, repairs to damaged roadway and pedestrian walkways, and the installation of high-tensile rockfall netting, landslide fences and debris flow fences. Structures damaged by extreme rainfall and wildfires have been repaired or replaced.

When the road is closed, motorists are requested to use Ou Kaapse Weg. Chapman’s Peak Drive will be reopened as soon as conditions are safe.V Regular updates are available via the variable message sign (VMS) system, @ChapmansPeakSA on Twitter, Facebook, or by calling 021 791 8222.

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