Sand River Bridge

Reader unhappy at progress with Sand River Bridge

Reader Garth Perry feels enough is enough on the bridge debacle.

“I, as a St Francis resident, have been looking forward to the completion of the construction of the bridge over the Sand River ever since the contract was awarded last year. Whilst I am grateful that the contract for the reconstruction of the bridge was eventually awarded, we waited an excessive time for the Province to remedy the loss of the bridge after it washed away a few years ago. Since the award of the contract, I have been prepared to put up with the inconvenience of detours and machine movements in the belief that the end will justify the hardships endured during the construction phase.

There is, however, a limit to my patience. Whilst it is the Contractors business as to how long he takes to construct the works, he should realise that he makes no friends by dragging the construction period to excessive periods as he is doing. After a tediously long construction period, traffic was diverted from the detour over a portion of the final bridge width. Everyone said ‘YAY’. Jubilation was, however, short lived.

The approaches to the bridge were prepared for the heavy traffic flow with a conventional base course which was then painted black with a thin coat of bitumen emulsion. It was patently obvious from the outset that this would be totally inadequate during a period of rain, let alone during dry weather. Limited rain has fallen since then, but the riding surface has deteriorated during the dry period and the recent rains to the extent that it is best classified as atrocious.

The final completion of this Contract appears to be some months away, based on the painfully slow progress made to date. Why do we have to have this situation imposed on us by the powers that be? I do not appreciate the middle finger being shown to me by a Contractor, Consulting Engineer and the Province who have no direct interest in the future well being of our home town. We deserve better!!!”

The rain has certainly helped churn up the ground onthe bridge approaches and it not for the traffic calming one would do serious damage to one’s tires were you not forced to drive so slowly. Good news is that construction will halt for the builders holiday’s in mid Deember so thinhs may improve marginally Garth

The Pedal & Spoke Cafe

The Pedal & Spoke Cafe – 167 St Francis Drive, St Francis Bay

Restaurant review bu Kirsten Doyle

The Pedal & Spoke Cafe has to be one of my favourite places to eat, not only in St Francis, but anywhere in the world. The food is imaginative, fresh and delicious, with lovely twists in the dishes, such as truffle oil on the chips. They have a range of delicious breakfasts including omelettes, eggs benedict, oats and croissants. For lunch, they offer a selection of delicious sandwiches, and salads that are also available as wraps. A few, well chosen mains include fish tacos, curry and a few burgers, all perfectly cooked, and accompanied by either chips or a house salad. For those with a sweet tooth, the cafe offers a variety of yummy cakes, as well  as pancakes and scones – all really delicious. They don’t sell alcohol, so bring your own – they provide ice buckets, ice and and lemon if required.

All in all, I cannot recommend this little gem highly enough. Owners Dave and Karen have done an amazing job.

RATING: *****

ATMOSPHERE: Warm, cosy and friendly.
SOUND LEVEL: Conversation level, no loud music.

RECOMMENDED DISHES: Fish tacos – be warned though, they are addictive. The Pedal & Spoke  burger – a really delicious combination of flavours, perfectly cooked. The fries – done with a lashing of truffle oil and thyme – truly delicious. The house salad – with pine nuts and parmesan shavings – simple but one of my favourites. The cakes – you can’t go wrong with any of them, but the house special is worth getting fat for.

DRINKS: A range of soft drinks and beverages. They don’t have a liquor licence, so be sure to bring your own.

PRICE RANGE: Very reasonable, R40 to R80 for breakfasts, R60 to R100 for lunch, with generous portions.

HOURS: Tuesday to Sunday 8am to 4pm. Closed on Mondays.

RESERVATIONS: Generally unnecessary for small groups, but be sure to come early in season as no bookings during that time.

CREDIT CARDS: All major.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: Ratings range from zero to five stars and reflect the reviewer’s opinion on the food, ambience and service, with pricing taken into consideration.