Knysna’s Red Bridge is once again open to the public. The bridge was closed in April 2014 for essential maintenance and refurbishment work undertaken by the Knysna Municipality at a cost of R3,2 million (including VAT). While the public regained access to the bridge in January 2015, the Red Bridge was officially reopened on Tuesday 12 May 2015 as Knysna Deputy Mayor Esmé Edge unveiled a commemorative plaque at the bridge.
“The Red Bridge carried the road traffic to and from the west of Knysna,” explained Edge. “When the concrete White Bridge was constructed on the N2 in 1955 the Department of Transport and Public Works, who owns the bridge, granted the municipality exclusive use of the bridge as a pipeline crossing.”
The Red Bridge currently supports the main raw water pipeline that conveys more than 80% of Knysna’s potable water from the abstraction point at Charlesford to the town. Corrosion of this metal structure necessitated the recent works.
“Corroded elements needed to be replaced and the entire structure has now been protected against corrosion,” said Edge. “And while the bridge was cleaned by abrasive blast cleaning, great efforts were made to ensure that we contained any potential pollution of the estuary and also minimised the amount of noise associated with an operation of this nature.”
An additional pipeline will be installed in the future to assist in managing the area’s increasing demand for potable water.
“We are committed to providing our residents wihttp://www.knysnakeep.org/wp-admin/post-new.phpth clean water,” Edge continued. “Our region experienced a major drought in 2009/2010 and we have already done a lot to ensure that our residents have sufficient access to potable water – even at times of drought. The refurbishment of the Red Bridge and the envisaged additional pipeline prove this commitment: our commitment to creating a town where people and nature prosper.”
Edge thanked the teams from Southey Construction, Aurecon, Sharples Environmental Services, OHS Consultants, along with all other role players and affected parties for their part in completing this project. She also thanked Mr Philip Caveney and the Knysna Historical Society for organising the beautiful plaque dedicated to the history of the bridge. The Deputy Mayor also reminded residents that they make use of the Red Bridge at their own risk.
Read about the Red Bridge’s history here.
Press release issued by Knysna Municipality. Photo supplied by the wonderful Knysna Historical Society.