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Kouga-Express
New access road brings hope for the St Francis spit

REPAIRS to the St Francis Bay spit revetment are under way to help minimise the risk of high seas breaking through and flooding nearby properties and infrastructure.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said work had started on a temporary access road from Aldabara Run to the spit.

“The access road is necessary to transport rock armour to the construction site,” he said.

“The rock armour will be used to strengthen the existing revetment and protect the spit from being breached.”

He said the rock armour, with a median mass of 238kg and layer thickness of 0,92m, would be placed in a double layer, with a crest level of about 4m MSL (mean sea level) to prevent damage due to overtopping during storms.

“Specialist studies have indicated that the proposed 620m rock revetment would protect the spit for at least the next five years.

“It is, therefore, only a temporary fix, but will provide us time to ensure funding for a longer-term solution.”

He said construction of the access road would be completed during Fe-bruary.

“The road will follow the existing dune profile where possible so as to reduce construction costs and unne-cessary earthworks. It will be about 3,5m wide, with a G7 sub-base layer, topped with a G5 wearing course.

“It is not meant as a public road and we appeal to members of the public not to make use of it as it is basically part of the construction site.”

Hendricks said among the proposals for a longer-term solution was the construction of two stub groynes.

“Groynes could help to mitigate erosion of the shoreline, according to an investigation conducted last year.”

He said key roleplayers in protecting the St Francis shoreline included the St Francis Property Owners (SFPO), the St Francis Riparian Home-Owners Association and the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT).

“Our agreement with the SFPO is that the municipality will focus on the short-term protection of the spit, while they focus on the long-term solution. The Environmental Impact Assessment for the long-term plan is currently under way.

“The Riparians continue to dredge sand onto the most vulnerable areas of the spit and have been helping to monitor the situation.”

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