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The severe structural damage to the East Road Bridge, which cuts across the N12 freeway near Eldorado Park, is a serious risk to motorists, says Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi.
The East Road overheard bridge, which is close to the N12 Lenasia/Eldorado Park off-ramp, was badly damaged last Thursday when a heavily loaded truck carrying cargo exceeding the permissible height restrictions hit the top structure, resulting in massive traffic congestion on the freeway.
“Three precast concrete beams have been severely damaged as a result of the accident, rendering nearly half of the bridge completely unsafe. This is yet another example of freight trucks not abiding by the load and height restrictions, causing untold damage to our road infrastructure and creating serious risks for other road users,” said MEC Vadi.
The Kliptown bridge, as it is commonly known to local residents, was constructed in the 1960s and serves as a critical link between Kliptown, Eldorado Park, Nancefield Industrial and the nearby informal settlement.
MEC Vadi said his department received an accident assessment report from a bridge engineer, who raised serious concerns about the structural safety of the bridge.
“Our primary concern right now is the safety of road users on the freeway and on East Road as the bridge has been declared unsafe. The left lanes on East Road and on the N12 will have to be closed until the bridge has been repaired.
“This unfortunately will cause traffic congestion and inconvenience to motorists but safety comes first,” he said.
He said strict speed restrictions will apply as the N12 freeway from Eldorado Park to the North West boundary is currently undergoing rehabilitation. The freeway maintenance works will be ongoing for the next 12 months.
He appealed to motorists to drive carefully and exercise patience. – SAnews.gov.za