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Significant progress made on R292m Sir Lowry's Pass river upgrade

14th February 2024

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Since breaking ground on the R292-million major upgrade of the Sir Lowry’s Pass river a year ago, the City of Cape Town is on track to complete the project in 2026.

The upgrades, in an effort to reduce flooding, started in February 2023.

The 12 km Sir Lowry's Pass river, at an elevation of around 1 200 m above sea level in the Hottentots Holland Mountain Nature Reserve, has been divided into three regions based on its vertical alignment.

These comprise the 1 km upper region, which has steep slopes owing to the surrounding mountains; the 8 km middle region, which flows through hills, fynbos, vineyards and Sir Lowry's Pass Village; and the 3 km lower region, which is the base flow channel below the N2 highway before entering False Bay.

“Because of the kind of mountains that surround the river, the region has concentrated downpours for brief periods of time, which leaves the river vulnerable to severe flooding,” explains Water and Sanitation MMC Councillor Zahid Badroodien.

“With its ongoing programmes for river maintenance and upgrades, the city is making incredible progress.”

The extensive upgrades include berm construction, grade leveling and rectification of the Sir Lowry's Pass river's alignment between the N2 in the north and False Bay (Indian Ocean), which will open up land for development and drastically lower the risk of flooding.

The upgrade further includes the construction of bridges, erosion control measures like riprap, gabions, berms and small concrete structures, the creation of non-motorised transport facility pathways, service provision, landscaping and the demolition of various walls and structures.

“By upgrading the area, the Gordons Bay community will be protected from future flooding and significant tracts of undeveloped land will become available for residential development,” said Badroodien.

Similar flood alleviation projects being undertaken by the City of Cape Town include the Lourens, Geelsloot, Macassar rivers and Soet River Detention Ponds projects, with investments into these initiatives and other projects citywide costing over R122.23-million for the 2023/24 financial year.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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