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Baakens Valley pedestrian bridge set for completion
The Baakens Valley composite pedestrian bridge, which has been scheduled for completion this week. Photo:SUPPLIED

SOUTH Africa’s first composite pedestrian bridge, located in the Baakens Valley, here in Port Elizabeth, is scheduled for completion this week.

The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) began the conception of the bridge with the 2014 precinct plan, focusing on upgrading and the rejuvenation of the area.

The bridge will not only provide a safe walking space, but it will also alleviate the parking congestion currently experienced by the city.

The 40m arch bridge was mostly made of new generation composite materials, creating a tourism landmark and at the same time stimulating the Bay-based national composites cluster.

Construction workers in the process of completing the Baakens Valley composite pedestrian bridge. Photo: SUPPLIED

A total of eight entry level SMMEs were appointed to do civil work, paving, retaining walls and wheelchair ramps, with over R2.5 million worth of contracts being awarded.

The area is also known for its 100-year flood line, hence a specific foundation was required and the height part of the bridge is 3.37m to withstand the occasional flood.

The structure is angled to avoid a build-up of debris and heavy rains.

The MBDA are calling on Bay residents to submit naming suggestions for the R10 million city landmark.

According to Sindiswa Ximba, MBDA communications officer, public engagements help the MBDA to maximise the benefits of its work to society.

“As part of engaging with the public, we thought we should make this an inclusive process in order to build trust and mutual understanding with our stakeholders,” Ximba said.

Ximba added that all naming suggestions are welcome and will be considered. These can range from historical, local and national iconic heroes.

A panel of judges will be selected and an adjudication process will be followed, where judges will review the various name submissions and choose what they will deem a fitting name for the bridge.

The panel will consist of the area’s ward councillor, two community representatives and an MBDA project manager.

Participants may either forward their suggestions to info@mbda.co.za or comment on the MBDA’s social media pages.

The closing date for all submissions are November 15.

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