The City of Cape Town has reached the halfway mark with its multi-million rand rehabilitation of Main Road, one of the Southern Peninsula’s most scenic access roads. Apart from the construction of a new retaining wall above the old Clovelly station, new underground services are also being installed to secure the provision of potable water to the residents living in the south.

The third and final phase of the Main Road rehabilitation project will be concluded in the latter part of 2017, with the investment in the new road surface, retaining wall at Clovelly, and underground services amounting to approximately R304 million.

The new road surface covers a distance of approximately 4,5 km from the intersection with Atlantic Road in Muizenberg to the intersection with Clovelly Road just past Kalk Bay. The work coincides with the installation of new underground sewer pipes, water mains, stormwater pipes, and low-voltage cables, as well as street lights.

‘Residents driving along this stretch of Main Road would have seen the excavators where the Clovelly station used to be. We are currently building a new retaining wall above the railway line, partly to serve as a support structure for Main Road above and otherwise to make it possible for us to widen Main Road to such an extent that motorists can parallel park along the seaside and to provide for pedestrian footways on both the mountain and sea sides,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.

State-of-the-art technology in the form of a chemical solution is used on site to stabilise and compact the soil to ensure that it has sufficient bearing capacity for the foundations of the retaining wall. This technology has enabled the City to save up to six months’ time with the project, which is significant for residents and business owners in the area, given the disruptions caused by the ongoing roadworks.

‘Once finished, the retaining wall will extend for a distance of nearly 500 m from Woolley’s tidal pool to Clovelly. It will stand over 6 m tall in some places, buttressed to create shadow lines and with stone-cladding to make the wall more appealing and to improve the aesthetics. At this stage it is anticipated that the retaining structure will be finished by the end of 2015,’ said Councillor Herron.

The rubble (rocks and building material) from the demolition of the old Clovelly Station and the excavations for the retaining wall and new underground services are currently stockpiled at a nearby site in Fish Hoek. The material will be used to fill the void of 12 000 m³ behind the retaining wall – up to 24 000 t is needed. The City is saving money by using the very same material and, thanks to the recycling, no rubble is added to landfill sites.

‘By doing so we not only reduce our carbon footprint, but also limit the number of construction vehicles on the already congested roads in the Southern Peninsula. It is easy to see the advantages when one considers that it would have taken 1 200 heavy-duty truck trips to transport the rubble to a landfill site, and another 1 200 truck trips to transport new filling material to the site in Clovelly once we need it,’ said Councillor Herron.

All timeworn underground services such as the 100-year-old sewer pipes and the like are being replaced along Main Road and behind the new retaining wall. The 50-year-old existing water main is also being replaced with a 700 mm ductile iron pipe. This main will be connected to the new pump station at Clovelly, securing the water supply to residents in the far south for the next 30 to 40 years.

‘All in all, approximately R304 million will have been spent on all three phases of this project. It is estimated that the rehabilitated road will last another 30 years, which includes allowance for the increase in traffic along Main Road. The significance of this project is obvious when one considers that Main Road is one of only three access routes to the far south and that it currently carries about 20 000 vehicles per day,’ said Councillor Herron.