St Francis Today is back

St Francis Today is back after our short break

St Francis Today is back with the Ed all patched up with a fully rebuilt fuel injection system.  Not quite 100% just yet so we may not publish every day or may sometimes publish a little later or even earlier than our normal 7:30am deadline. Unfortunately the Ed’s sleeping pattern has been a little topsy turvy of late so please bear with us until we are able to establish a new rhythm.

Sadly we missed the Calamari Classic an event that really has such potential to become an even bigger drawcard than it already is and who knows, even reach the popularity of the Knysna Oyster Festival. After all you can do a whole lot more with calamari than with oysters.

Local news erupted during our shut down with unhappy township residents burning and plundering. Certainly they have the right to protest but do they have the right to destroy property. Most concerning however was the mutilation and killing of dogs near the Humansdorp SPCA premises causing SPCA to evacuate the animals to Uitenhage. What sort of person takes out their rage by taking the life of an innocent animal. Barbaric!

But it seems the barbarism spread to a local pub with a bar brawl that would have had Hollywood Western movie directors scrambling for their cameras and English crickter Ben Stokes wondering what all the fuss is about his little skirmish in the early hours of the morning.

Thanks goodness though for some uplifting and positive news with some of South Africa’s finest young  golfers competing in the Vodacom Origins of Golf at St Francis Links.  As always events such as the Origins highlights just what a wonderful facility the Links offers to the Eastern Cape as a tourst magnet. Read Jeff Clause’s newsScotsmen love it in the dunes!

And then we had the All Blacks giving the Boks their biggest thumping in history. Fortunately the Ed was still in ICU when he heard the news so all the necessary life saving equipment was in place lest the shock news cause cardiac arrest.

Interesting too was the closing of the Paradise Beach causeway whilst  the eco people hummed and hawed before  coming to their senses and allowing the river mouth to be breached.  It is human interference that has stopped the estuary from breaching  naturally so surely a helping ‘human’ hand should be acceptable. Read – Kouga gets the go-ahead to breach the Seekoei estuary mouth

But what would the news be without all the stories of corruption and fraud and so we continue picking up the strings as our poloticians continue to wreak havoc with our economy.

A quick note to advertisers, with our shutdown many adverts have not yet be renewed so should you wish to advertise please be sure to contact Colin on 083 554 0796 or at news@stfrancistoday.com.dedi358.cpt4.host-h.net to discuss your advertising needs into the holidays.

Again thanks to all our readers and loyal sponsors for your understancing and many good wishes on social and other media during our shutdown.

Sand River Bridge

Update of progress of Sand River Bridge

The Sand River Bridge is on track to carry traffic over December holiday season but construction will continue well into 2018.

St Francis Today was invited along with Nigel Aitken of SF Property Owners Association to visit the new Sand river bridge construction for a full update on progress. Well we are pleased to be able report back with good news.

Barring an unprecedented flood, an earthquake or strike by a falling meteorite it appears that the bridge will be partially open in time for the December / January holiday influx. Good news for the expected holiday makers and St Francis at large.

Within the next few weeks the construction team expects to start pouring the concrete slab that will span the support pillars already constructed to form the roadway over the bridge. A mammoth undertaking. Whilst the contractor indicated that this would offer two lanes to the expected holiday traffic the bridge itself, would be far from complete as there will still be work to be done before commissioning of the bridge late in the first quarter, possibly in the second quarter of 2018.

After donning all the required safety gear we joined the contractor on the perimeter of site rather being allowed access to the heart of the construction for obvious safety reasons. Having the contractor explain what would have still have to be done once the bridge is opened to vehicle traffic certainly gave us a better understanding as to what has been achieved thus far and what still needs to be done. Because of the ‘temporary’ causeway it has been impossible to extend the bridge foundation to its full required width. This can only be done once the main section of the bridge is open to traffic and the temporary causeway, presently the only thoroughfare in and out of St Francis has been excavated.  Once the causeway has been removed work will commence on extending the foundation, increasing the width of the support pillars as well as the width of the bridge.  The main water pipeline from the Churchill dam will also be incorporated into the structure of the bridge.

The photograph below illustrates just how close to the causeway is to the bridge with sandbags seemingly all that is preventing the causeway falling into the bridge excavation area and why the causeway will need to be excavated before the final foundation can be completed.

As the foundation is extended so too will the bridge so as to incorporate pedestrian walkways on either side, guard rails et al which will be missing when the bridge is initially opened to vehicle traffic. Actually standing above the construction site and having the contractor explain the progress and further development it becomes evident the need for the tons of reinforcing steel that protrudes from various parts of the bridge construction.

In the interim residents are reminded to drive with care when navigating the bridge area and in the coming months expect a few delays as the construction reaches the critical stage of laying the roadway slab. Calming devises will no doubt remain in place even once the bridge is opened for it will still be a construction site and as such present its own dangers, particularly for those who choose to ignore speed limits.

 

Sand River Bridge

Illustrattration of how close to the causeway is to the new bridge cnstruction

Sand River Bridge