This news report sheds light on the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (Prasa) proactive stance in rehabilitating a railroad bridge that suffered damage after the Boksburg gas tanker explosion. While Prasa has initiated this rehabilitation endeavour, it has not yet provided an official response concerning its plan for fixing the affected infrastructure.
The incident, which unfolded on Christmas Eve at the Hospital Road bridge in Plantation, triggered authorities to take precautionary measures by cordoning off the area. This restriction aimed to prevent traffic from utilising the stretch of road connecting Plantation to the southern region, separated by the railway line.
The question of responsibility for the bridge’s restoration prompted a response from metro spokesperson Zweli Dlamini. When queried about the party responsible for rectifying the bridge, Dlamini asserted that the bridge belonged to Prasa and, consequently, Prasa held responsible for addressing the issue.
Inquiring further, discussions also centred on whether the metro would play a role in ensuring the comprehensive rehabilitation of the bridge section. This includes aspects like stormwater systems and sewer lines, which are integral components of the city’s infrastructure. Dlamini outlined that if there is a role deemed fitting for the metro in this process, it will be duly identified and brought to their attention, and appropriate intervention will be determined.
Moreover, Dlamini articulated that if the road and the bridge are deemed safe for use following Prasa’s rehabilitation initiative, the road segment in the city will not impede reopening.
As per information gathered by the journalist, it has come to light that Prasa is currently in the process of sourcing contractors for the task of demolishing and reconstructing the bridge. Reports indicate that Prasa anticipates appointing a service provider and dispatching them to the site by the conclusion of this month.
Ward councillor Marius De Vos responded positively to reports of Prasa’s efforts to address the much-needed bridge rehabilitation. De Vos states rectifying and reopening the road will alleviate the mounting pressure and traffic challenges on alternative routes and rail bridges. The closure of the road segment has notably posed significant difficulties for Plantation residents and hospital and emergency service vehicles, which rely on this thoroughfare.
In line with the evolving nature of the situation, updates on this story will be provided as more information becomes available.
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Photo: Supplied by Citizen