Bridge revamped ‘to conquer social issues’

2019-08-22 06:00
The billboard at Niven’s Bridge shows the six social issues highlighted on the bridge.   Photos: HEILIE COMBRINCK

The billboard at Niven’s Bridge shows the six social issues highlighted on the bridge. Photos: HEILIE COMBRINCK

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A bridge is often a symbol for overcoming obstacles and the Niven’s Bridge in Uitenhage, which was refurbished last week, aims not only to bring awareness to certain social issues, but also to symbolise the help that is offered to conquer difficult social issues and get to the other side safely.

Nelson Mandela Bay municipal spokesperson, Kupido Baron, said the Niven’s Bridge in Cuyler Street is one of the oldest bridges in Nelson Mandela Bay.

“Niven’s Bridge was originally built in 1956 and it was found to be unsafe and posed a danger to the motorists. It also did not create a positive welcome for visitors and residents entering Uitenhage,” Baron said.

He said the refurbishment took two months to complete and is meant to increase the bridge’s life-span by 15 to 20 years.

Baron said the municipality took the decision to refurbish the bridge to prevent it from possibly collapsing.

“It was also necessary to give a long overdue makeover that will create a positive welcome to Uitenhage,” he said.

The bridge now highlights different social issues which have been marked by specific colours to bring awareness to these matters.

The green represents environmental conservation while the blue focused on water conservation.

The red highlights HIV/Aids awareness and orange draws attention to hunger awareness.

Pink represents cancer awareness and yellow emphasises Arrive Alive.

Baron said the project which cost R1,8 million, focused on removing the old broken concrete bridge columns and beams and to replace them with new polymer fibre material.

“All the badly rusted steel has been removed and replaced with new material.

“The old broken bridge columns have been primed and painted white, whereas the beams are in colours that are visible to road users and give significant awareness,” Baron said.

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