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UPDATE ON STRAND’S NEW SEA WALL - Promenade and Central Precinct Upgrade

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UPDATE ON STRAND’S NEW SEA WALL - Promenade and Central Precinct Upgrade

UPDATE ON STRAND’S NEW SEA WALL  -  Promenade and Central Precinct Upgrade

STRAND SEA WALL AND PROMENADE

Q - When is Phase 1 (up to clock tower and Da Gama Street) expected to be completed?

A - The project is progressing well and in accordance with our timelines. The completion date for this phase remain the third quarter of 2017, subject to the possibility of contractual time extensions, if needed.

Q - The height of the sea wall is subject to a lot of discussion. The sea is no longer visible. Will the visibility of the sea improve towards the lifesaving club? Could you provide a detailed explanation and an engineer’s plan reflecting how the situation will be of great assistance? Will the sea view be affected in phases 2 & 3 as well?

A - The solution that is being implemented at the Strand beachfront, namely that of an L-shaped recurving precast wall, and particularly the height, has been determined in a scientific manner that has taken cognisance of the current and future risks associated with frequent flooding during high tides and storms and windblown sand.

The City has considered various options, and the decision to implement the current and preferred solution, which includes the extent and nature of the promenade, was arrived at in a scientifically sound manner. This took into account all of the information and options available, after concluding an extensive and in depth investigation into the various aspects that contributed to the cause of the problem, the risks associated with it (both current and future), and the advantages and disadvantages associated with all of the identified options.

The City has been aware that this initiative would by its very nature have negative and positive impacts on both the physical and social environment at the Strand beachfront. As such, the design process took the best part of more than two years, and included input by extremely knowledgeable and reputable specialists in this field.

The preferred solution of an L shaped recurving precast wall at a constant height of 3,5 m above Land Leveling Datum (LLD) was subjected to rigorous scrutiny, comment and critique during the planning and approval phases, and was accepted as the appropriate solution under the circumstances.

This took into account the visual impact, the sense of place, the risks associated with the height of the wall compared to that of the beach, access points to and from the beach, etc. The same can be said of the promenade, also as it pertains to its width and encroachment onto the beach, its height above the road level and below the top-off wall, and its impact on the sense of space – especially from the adjoining private properties and business premises adjacent to Beach Road, Strand.

It is true that the visual impact of the wall in terms of the height is most prominent on the section of Beach Road between the Strand Precinct to just beyond Sarel Cilliers Street, and approaching Da Gama Street. But this is also the area that is worst affected by overtopping and wind-blown sand due to the low-lying nature of the infrastructure and buildings on the landward side of the wall itself.

The visual impact will reduce significantly from Da Gama Street towards the Life-Saving Club, so much so that it will have virtually no impact at all on the visibility of the beach and ocean. This is, of course, due to the fact that the road infrastructure and buildings have been established appreciably higher than LLD. The top of wall height will therefore be appreciably lower compared to the existing infrastructure, or the roadway itself.

Q - What is the intention with the storm water pipes? Water and sand already seem to be causing a problem where the wall has been completed.

A - The work on the storm water pipes fall into two distinct categories, namely those existing ones that merely need to be accommodated through the new wall onto the beach, and those that are constructed through the wall and onto the beach where they discharge seawards of the existing and new wall.

Five duckbilled valves are being installed at the end of some of the storm water pipes that end at the wall in order to test their effectiveness in preventing sand from entering the pipe systems from the seaward side. Normal maintenance by clearing of the build-up of sand at the discharge points of the storm water pipes will continue during and after completion.

Q - What will happen to the excess sand and stones piled up against the wall? The beach is also scattered with stones, which previously was not the case.

A - Most of the stones occur naturally on the beach, albeit that they are found in the lower layers of the sand when excavating. Clean-ups are done on an ongoing basis, but all of these stones will not be removed but will rather be covered with time by tidal action and the displacement of sand which occurs naturally. The sand levels were recorded prior to excavation commencing and the contractor is obliged to reinstate the sand as best possible to those (original) levels once the works are completed in the vicinity.

Q - Since the partial construction of the wall, excessive sand is on Beach Road just before Da Gama Street (Close to the clock). It is seems as if more sand is being blown onto Beach Road than previously. Does this have anything to do with the new wall?

A - Yes, it does. The wall has the effect of forcing sand to be transported longitudinally along the back of new wall, and then being deposited in the roadway. This is one of the main reasons why the second phase of the sea wall aims to complete up to the lifesaving club before moving over to phase 3, from the Pavilion Precinct to Greenways.

Q - What is the intention regarding toilet and ablution facilities? During June 2016 you advised as follows: “The existing toilet structures will be removed and replaced with mobile ablution facilities designed specifically for the required purpose. The City’s Directorate: Parks and Recreation is leading this process. Transport for Cape Town, the City’s transport authority, will provide linkages to the sewer system at strategic locations as advised by our colleagues from Parks and Recreation”.  I assume this is still the case?  Is it possible to provide some pictures of these mobile ablution facilities?

A - We are still awaiting feedback from the officials from our sister department (Parks and Recreation) and will send this to you in due course.

Q - It is understood that “Deep Blue” is to be demolished.  When is this planned to take place?

A - Phase 2 of the upgrading of the sea wall will require that Deep Blue be demolished to enable construction of the wall in that vicinity. Thus, the latest it would be demolished would therefore be during Phase 2 of the construction of the sea wall.

Q - The palm trees that have been replanted on the promenade look old and tired.  Is there a possibility that these will be replaced with more fresh looking trees/ beautiful palms?

A - At this point in time the approved approach is to replant the existing palms as part of the sea wall upgrading. Irrigation is being installed to provide watering of the palms once reinstated.

STRAND CENTRAL / PAVILION PRECINCT

This also shows promise of being a big improvement and seems to be progressing well.

Q - When is the upgrade of the precinct expected to be completed?

A - By June 2018, pending any unforeseen challenges or delays.

Q - Will health and cleanliness at the fish market be monitored? At present the fish scales, gills, etc. are dropped onto the slipway for the seagulls to enjoy.  It is a joy to watch the birds feasting, but the concrete is stained and unsightly and must be cleaned.

A - More information will be provided in due course.

Q - The informal traders will be relocated to the precinct. However, will proper structures be provided?

A - For the pavilion precinct upgrade project, trading structures have not been included.

STRAND JETTY

This is a landmark of historical value and residents feel very strongly about retaining this heritage.

Q - What is the intention regarding restoration of the jetty? Has there been any progress regarding the restoration of the jetty?

A - The Strand Beach Front Regeneration project is proceeding as planned.  However, the restoration of the Jetty has been placed on hold as the costs associated with the restoration are significant, are not budgeted for in the 2017/2018 financial year.  As such a re-evaluation of restoring the jetty will now be done as part of an overall coastal infrastructure optimisation project as part of the Organisational Development Transformation Plan. Once this has been completed the future of the jetty will be decided in consultation with the relevant stakeholders through standard Council engagement processes.   

PHASE 2 OF SEA WALL PROJECT

From previous information we understand that Phase 2 will be from Da Gama Street to the Lifesaving Club.

Q - When is Phase 2 scheduled to take place?

The City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority intends to commence with the next phase during the second half of 2017, budget permitting.

Q - Is there any chance of making Phase 2 the section from the Pavilion Precinct to Greenways instead?  This is an urgent request as there is serious overtopping of the sea onto Beach Road in this section.

A - We will be considering the prioritisation of the phases. We will revert as soon as we have done so.

PHASE 3 OF SEA WALL PROJECT

Q - When is Phase 3 (Pavilion Precinct to Greenways) envisaged to commence?  NB:  Again we wish to draw attention to the fact that serious overtopping of seawater into Beach Road is experienced in this section and we believe that remedial action is extremely necessary to prevent flooding.

In terms of current phasing, Phase 3 will commence no earlier than the second half of 2019.

Q - A portion of the Beach Road close to Greenways already has huge boulders on the beach, will this be extended?

A - No, the rock extension of the rock revetment is not the preferred or approved method.

Q - Will a portion of Beach Road (close to Greenways) become one way?

A - At this stage we are considering to converting a section of Beach Road in the vicinity of Greenways to a one-way carriageway. Further details will become available as and when we finalise the planning and designs on that section of the works.

Author Cllr Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member: Transport and Urban Development, City of Cape Town
Published 02 Jun 2017 / Views -
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