Pipeline project second phase nears completion

THE eThekwini Municipality announced the successful completion of more than half of the second phase of the western aqueduct, the city’s biggest ever bulk water pipeline project.

Head of eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS), Ednick Msweli, said all was on target for the second phase of the western aqueduct to be completed by mid-2017.

The first phase of the aqueduct, which measures 20km and stretches from the Umlaas Road Reservoir to Inchanga, was commissioned at the end of 2012.

He said the completion of the project, which is intended to both replace and augment existing infrastructure, brings water into Durban from the Midmar Dam and recently-constructed Spring Grove Dam and will ensure that the eThekwini region has some of the best bulk water infrastructure in the region.

The aqueduct will significantly strengthen the capacity of bulk water supply and meet the needs of the greater eThekwini region for the next 30 years.

Project manager, Martin Bright, confirmed that some 26km of a total length of 40km of pipeline have been laid, of which 14km has been handed over to the city, ensuring a reliable bulk water supply to the Alverstone Neck, Knelsby and Emoyeni Road reservoirs.

The 14km stretch of pipeline, extending from Inchanga to Alverstone Nek and then on to Ashley Drive in Hillcrest, was completed in July this year by Cycad Construction and during June by WK SA Construction.

To date, 12km of the 25km section of the pipeline, stretching from Ashley Drive to Ntuzuma, was laid by Esor Construction. The remainder of this contract is expected to be completed in mid-2017.

Bright said that the link to the Botha’s Hill reservoir off the aqueduct pipeline would be complete by the end of this year, ensuring that Botha’s Hill and Kearsney College had sustainable bulk water supply to the reservoir.

“The large Ashley Drive break pressure tank has also been completed by Icon Construction and commissioning will take place on completion of the construction of the pipeline from Ashley Drive to Makaranga Lodge. Icon Construction is expected to complete this by the end of 2016,” he added.

The 1,8km of the 7km-long Tshelimnyama pipeline was laid by Esor Construction. This branch line running along Haygarth Road and under the N3 to the water reservoir in Tshelimnyama will alleviate water shortages in this area and is scheduled for completion during the last quarter of 2016.

The final main component, the Wyebank break pressure tank, will begin in the first quarter of 2016.

Msweli 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 rebuilt.

All roadworks on sections of the pipeline that are still under construction will be closed and made safe over the festive season. Only Pioneer Road and Wyebank Road will continue to operate using a stop-go traffic management system during this festive season.

Bright noted that extensive environmental rehabilitation has been undertaken along all sections of the completed pipeline but said that vegetation was not growing as well as expected due to poor summer rains.

“Residents are assured everything will be done to ensure acceptable rehabilitation,” he said.

The temporary railway crossing near Stoker’s Arms in Kloof is complete. This temporary crossing will be in operation from the second week in November until the commencement of the builders’ break and thereafter from middle January until the completion of the construction of the section of pipeline along Church Street.

The aqueduct project construction monitoring is being executed by the Knight Piesold/Naidu Consulting/Royal Haskoning DHV joint venture.

Sanelisiwe Tsinde

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