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CBD stormwater system to be upgraded

Road closures and disruptions are on the cards for the Hermanus Central Business District for at least seven months next year.

This is due to the planned upgrade of the CBD stormwater system.

During an information session on Monday 3 September, stakeholders were told that “much needed work” on the CBD’s stormwater system will start in May 2019.

Uli du Toit of Element Consulting Engineers, a consultant for the Overstrand Municipality, said the Main Road flooded in February this year (“Soaking wet after thunderstorm”, Hermanus Times, 15 February 2018) as well as in November 2013 during a one in 50 years flood.

“There are two low points in Main Road and High Street,” Du Toit said. He said the 300 diameter stormwater pipe that takes water from High Street and Main Road cannot handle these volumes of water and an alternative had to be found. A new pipe must now be installed under the roads that can transfer run-off water away from the CBD into the ocean.

The pipe will start at High Street where it intersects with Mitchell Street, follow the turn of street past the Dirkie Uys intersection. It will go down Dirkie Uys Street and into Main Road in an easterly direction. It will then go down Marine Drive (along the Marine Hotel) and through to the outlet at the ocean.

“We understand the repercussions for businesses when we dig up roads in front of your businesses,” said du Toit. “We take this into consideration.”

The construction of the pipeline will be done in three phases. The first phase is set to start early May and will entail the closure of Main road from curb to curb. It will be closed to vehicular traffic, but open to pedestrians. Temporary parking will be made available. During the first phase, Marine Drive will also be closed, either for one way traffic or completely. Du Toit however said if Marine Drive along the Marine Hotel has to be closed, the contractor and consultants will be in constant communication with the Marine Hotel owners to arrange alternative access.

The eastern section of High Street will be closed during phase one and unlike the Main Road closure, it will be closed from building to building, closing the street to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Phase one must be completed by the end of July 2019.

Phase two will start in August 2019 and should last until the end of November. During this phase, work in Marine Drive next to the Marine hotel will continue and the contractor will work on the western part of High Street.

Phase three entails the revitalisation of High Street with a completion date of 6 December.

Kari Brice, councillor for the Hermanus CBD, said R4 million had been secured for the stormwater upgrade, but adds that more funds need to be secured. R3 million had been secured for the upgrades to High Street, which forms part of the CBD revitalisation project. She said it just made sense to combine the stormwater upgrade with the upgrades for High Street.

This street will be furnished with new road and curb surfaces, new street furniture and signage. “An additional R500 000 has been allocated through the ward committee system for brand identity,” said Brice.

A committee of stakeholders has been formed, which will rope in more people. She asked all stakeholders to come forward with concerns and proposals for minimising disruptions to local business.

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