Sand River Bridge Open

Sand River Bridge Opened for traffic yesterday afternoon

Photo Stephanie Ernsten

St Francis Today thought we would try and make a bit of a comeback today but alas it seems the ed is not quite up to it after suffering a collapsed lung following recent heart surgery. Possibly things will be better next week but the effort this morning has been more than a little draining and painful.

Anyway the good news is that the Sand River bridge is open to traffic which will certainly ease the traffic flow in and out of St Francis especially as the holiday season approaches. We were promised some photos as we could not travel to site but alas received none so we have borrowed this one from Stephanie Ernsten (hope you don’t mind Steph).who used the bridge late yeaterday.

The conractors have asked us to appeal to the public whether driving, cycling or walking over the bridge to take care. The entire area is still a construction site and traffic calming methods will remain in place until the bridge is finally completed some time in the first half of 2018.

No doubt there will be complaints and comments on how narrow the bridge is and a stream of criticism but please bear in mind the bridge construction still has a long way to go and will offer a wider drive through once complete.


Sand River Pipe in place

Sand River Bridge construction on schedule

Work on the Sand River bridge is progressing on schedule and the huge pipe that will divert waters from the Sand River away from the main bridge construction site in the event of heavy rains or any of the dune ponds collapsing is all but complete.  The photograph below illustrates the size of the pipe and no doubt once the river flow has been redirected to flow through the pipe any unforeseen flooding will be effectively be diverted.

With the builder’s holidays due to start in a little over three weeks, construction will thankfully cease for the period when St Francis is at its busiest. Sadly it is inevitable that more accidents will happen on this short stretch of road over the festive season but the way the construction has straightened the temporary road will hopefully be effective in reducing these incidences and thus avoid a tragedy.

Pipe to divert Sand River in St Francis

ESKOM Fence?

Anyone know what happened to the Eskom fence?

It seems from the tyre tracks in the sand, a vehicle travelling south towards Cape St Francis must have lost control, possibly to avoid a farm animal. This is a 60kilometre zone but it appears very few have any respect for speed signs in St Francis. Ignoring speed restrictions seems even more prevalent in Cape St Francis where a 40 kilometre speed limit is in place and it seems more and more common for impatient drivers totally ignore the limits. As this little village fills up with visitors more and more kids will be on the roads so one must hope sense and respect of the rules of the road will prevail.

Eskom fence damaged

Construction of bridge to start.

With all the environmental issues now approved construction of the new bridge over the Sand River is all go. Anyone travelling over the temporary bridge recently, well not quite temporary considering how long it has been the only access to St Francis, will have noted activity at last. With construction due to take 15 months there will no doubt be a fair amount of disruption to traffic flow, particularly in the early stages. The reason is that the Sand river has to be re-routed so as not to interfere with construction of the new bridge. To Do this requires a rather large pipe to be installed under the existing road before the river can be re-routed.

During this period there will be times, possibly entire days when there will be a ‘Stop & Go’ in place as there will only be a single lane crossing the river and other times the road may be closed totally for short periods. So folks, let’s not get aggravated and impatient. There will be delays in travel times so leave a little earlier than you normally would if you need to get to the college, the airport or an appointment in Humansdorp or PE.

You will note there are some new speed restriction signs so let us all obey these. There will be construction workers and construction equipment on the road and we really don’t need someone’s impatients causing an accident further delaying construction. Construction will obviously span the Christmas period but fortunately actual work should shut down during this extremely busy period from 16th December through to early January for the construction industry holidays. The diversion of the Sand river should be complete by then so there should not be any more inconvenience to traffic than in past years since the temporary bridge has been in place.

From time to time there will be traffic enforcement so keep your speed within the limits, your road rage in check and you will be able to keep your hard earned Rands in your wallet.

Causes for the St Francis Flooding in 2011

St Francis Flooding 2011 –  Full Report

St Francis 2011 Flood

Above Photo extracted from report

St Francis Today has received the attached document (PDF format) from Spangenberg Attorneys compiled by Professor Ellery detailing the causes for the 2011 floods, which eventually washed away the bridge crossing the Sand River and deposited large volumes of sand forming the delta where the Sand and Krom Rivers meet.

Many St. Francis locals are under the mistaken impression that the floods were as a result of the St. Francis Links development, which is evidently untrue. These misconceptions were the result of a report compiled by a certain Mr. Theo Geldenhuys in 2012, which relied solely on the views of local residents and contained no form of scientific or quantitative observations or measurements.

The report sent herewith is informative and serves to enlighten those who seek to blame all but nature itself.

We suggest you download and read the report at your leisure for it is quite detailed

Read report