King Williamstown: After two years, the only road connecting an Eastern Cape village with the rest of the province has finally been reopened following the completion of a bridge.
Qongqotha village and the communities surrounding the village were cut off from the rest of the province when the bridge on the only access road became unsafe for traffic and had to be closed in 2010.
“This bridge was built in the 1950s and was old and rusted, with structural members failing, making it unsafe to cross. The steel bridge on concrete spans 61 metres across the Buffalo River and is a vital connection between the village and King Williamstown,” said Transport MEC Thandiswa Marawu after officially reopening the bridge on Tuesday.
She said at the time the bridge was closed, an assessment determined that a new steel bridge would be the best option – safe enough for pedestrians to cross as well.
“The single-lane Qongqotha bridge construction began in January this year and was completed in May at a cost of R 8 722 546. The bridge also has a crossing point facility for disabled people,” said Marawu.
Marawu said the project created 21 jobs, for 15 men and three women in general labour, and for two men and a woman in skilled labour.
“Training in life skills as specified in the socio-economic specification, HIV/Aids and technical skills, was also provided for 20 employees,” said Marawu.