Water pipeline phase two reaches significant milestones

Residents will be pleased to know that construction on the 14km stretch of water pipeline from Inchanga Station to Alverstone Reservoir and then on to Ashley Drive in Kloof is now complete.

The 14-kilometre stretch of water pipeline extending from Inchanga Station to Alverstone Reservoir and then on to Ashley Drive in Kloof is now complete and will be handed over to eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS) following the conclusion of pressure testing and commissioning.

Head of eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS), Ednick Msweli, said this important milestone indicated that the city’s biggest ever bulk water pipeline project was on target for completion in 2017. The completed segment of pipeline, which took a total of 24 months to put in place, comprises the first two contracts of the R1.8-billion second phase of the Western Aqueduct. The first phase of the Western Aqueduct, which measures 20km and stretches from the Umlaas Road Reservoir to Inchanga, was commissioned at the end of 2012.

Project manager, Martin Bright, said pressure testing of the pipeline, which extends 7km from Inchanga Station to the Alverstone Reservoir, was underway and that Cycad Construction was expected to hand over the project to EWS during July.

He added that many residents in the Botha’s Hill area, who had been under constant water supply pressure, particularly those living at the bottom of the valley near the Inanda Dam, would enjoy a more consistent supply of water as soon as the pipeline was fully operational.

The second contract between Alverstone Reservoir and Ashley Drive in Kloof, which has been completed by WK Construction, has been successfully tested and is due to be also handed over to EWS in July.

Bright thanked residents for their patience during construction, and pointed out that motorists would not only notice that roadworks were complete but that all roads excavated to lay the pipe had been completely rebuilt in places.

Bright confirmed that the third contract, which would see the remaining 25 km of pipeline laid from Ashley Drive to Ntuzuma, is already well underway. He said that the contractor, Esor Construction, would be entering one of the more challenging parts of this project as it excavated the thoroughfare near the Kloof Station in order to lay the pipeline. He said this would lead to some traffic congestion and confirmed that roadworks would continue until 2017. Road closures and detours will be clearly sign-posted.

Another project milestone that has been reached is the awarding of a fourth contract for construction of an urgently needed branch line running along Haygarth Road and under the N3 to Tshelimnyama to Esor Construction.

This 16-month long contract, worth R88-million, is expected to relieve water shortages in the Tshelimnyama area. It will entail laying a pipeline with a diameter of 600mm from the entrance to Makaranga Lodge to the Haygarth Road Reservoir. From there, a 500mm pipe would take water to the existing reservoir in Tshelimnyama. This contract entails laying 8km of pipe, crossing under the N3 at the Mariannhill Toll Plaza. However, according to Bright, there will be no disruption to traffic or visible construction work affecting the N3. Esor Construction will construct a pipe jack that will push a 90m-long concrete sleeve under the N3. The new water pipe will be inserted into this.

He added that work by Icon Construction on the Ashley Drive break pressure tank was progressing well. On completion during the third quarter of 2015, it is expected to hold 20 mega-litres of water.

Bright added that tenders have closed for the construction of the Wyebank Break Pressure Tank and EWS is currently assessing bids. Construction is expected to take 18 months, with completion expected towards the end of 2016.

Deshni Ramkissoon-Pillay

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