Durban’s largest ever bulk water pipeline, the Western Aqueduct, is making steady progress and reaching important milestones.
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The head of the eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS), Ednick Msweli, said the Western Aqueduct would have a significant impact on the future development of the eThekwini region.
“With unemployment at record highs and a need to fast-track the establishment of industry that will beneficiate commodities and manufacture for export, in order to both grow the regional economy and create jobs, the provision of good water infrastructure has never been more important. With the completion of the aquaduct, Durban will have some of the best water infrastructure in the country,” he said.
The project – divided into two phases – will bring water into Durban from the Midmar Dam and recently constructed Springrove Dam. It will significantly strengthen the capacity of bulk water supply and meet the needs of the greater eThekwini region for the next 30 years.
The first phase, which measures 20km and stretches from the Umlaas Road Reservoir to Inchanga, was commissioned at the end of 2012.
The R1.8-billion second phase, which continues from Inchanga to Ntuzuma, is expected to be commissioned next year. Martin Bright, the project manager for the second phase, explained that the massive phase had been divided into a number of related contracts.
The first two contracts – comprising 14km of pipeline extending from Inchanga to Alverstone Station, and then on to Ashley Drive in Hillcrest – have been completed by Cycad Construction and WK Construction respectively.
Both these contractors have already moved off site.
Msweli said the eThekwini Municipality was pleased that both projects had been completed and had met stringent quality standards.
As a result of the severe drought experienced lately, the rehabilitation of areas where the pipeline was laid had been delayed, but since been completed under difficult circumstances.
Work on the 25km stretch of the pipeline from Ashley Drive to Ntuzuma being carried out by Esor Construction, is on schedule for completion in September 2017.
He said a 7km branch line to Tshelimnyama was being carried out by Esor and was on track for completion towards the end of this year.
This pipeline runs along Haygarth Road, and under the N3 to the water reservoir in Tshelimnyama, and will alleviate water shortages in this area.
The large Ashley Drive Break Pressure Tank, designed by the Western Aqueduct Consultants Joint Venture, has been completed by ICON Construction. This 20-million litre Break Pressure Tank has just won the South African Institute of Civil Engineers (SAICE) Award for Technical Excellence at the Saice Durban Branch Awards.
In the submission entry, the following aspects of this project were highlighted: that it showcased the civil engineer’s leadership and management skills, not to mention technical competence, in bringing together a team of specialists in the disciplines of civil, structural, hydraulic, geotechnical, roadwork, mechanical, electrical, electronic and telecommunications engineering, as well as other related fields such as environmental, heritage, security and planning.
A second reservoir – known as the Wyebank Break Pressure Tank – is also well on the way to completion during the third quarter of 2017. This break pressure tank has also been designed by Royal Haskoning DHV and is currently being built by ICON.
Msweli thanked eThekwini residents for their patience during the construction of the completed sections of the pipeline and during on-going construction.
“Unfortunately, traffic disruption will still be felt as a result of work in Kloof, Wyebank and Kwadabeka. The section of the M13 off-ramp to Willingdon Road is due to begin next month. The temporary railway crossing at Kloof Station will terminate at the end of this month, and traffic will revert to flow along Church Street as the pipeline along Church Street is now complete,” he said.
He said work would continue along Wyebank Road for the foreseeable future.
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