There has been a lot of speculation about what is happening with the repair work on the causeway spanning the Seekoei River and residents have even taken the law into their own hands and re-opened the causeway during the weekend.
Fact 1 – The contractor
There is no truth in the rumour that the contractor has walked off the job and will not be returning.
When it became apparent that the estuary was filling up with water from recent rains as well as an solstice high tide that breached the closed mouth, a decision was made that it was pointless to continue to pump water out of the small coffer dams so that work could be done on the culverts.
The agreement was that the causeway would be opened and work would recommence once Environmental Affairs had granted permission to open the mouth or when the mouth naturally opened to the sea.
On the day the contractor was tidying up the site in order to re-open the causeway, his heavy vehicle damaged one of the old culverts that needed to be replaced.
The broken culvert then resulted in the causeway being closed as it was clear that it is extremely dangerous to cross the causeway.
The contractor remains committed to finishing the repair work to the causeway and there is no need to be concerned.
The contractor never closed the mouth. The mouth naturally closed in late March/early April due to a natural flow of sand that takes place when heavy seas and huge flows of water occurs.
In fact the contractor tried to open the mouth and was chased off the beach by Environmental Affairs.
The only reasonable solution to the problem is for the mouth of the Seekoei River to be opened and for some water to be drained from the estuary.
A site meeting was held this morning and a decision was made to once again approach Environmental Affairs and seek permission to open the mouth and thereby ensure repair work can continue.
There are apparently certain concerns Environmental Affairs have and the Municipality is busy addressing these concerns as a matter of urgency.
It is hoped that this process will be finalised this week. We will keep all residents updated with developments through emails as well as this blog and the print media.
In the meantime, it must be appreciated that residents are using the causeway entirely at their own risk and that without an engineer confirming that the causeway is safe to use, the Municipality cannot take the chance and allow people to use the causeway.
Accordingly the causeway will be closed to traffic. We understand the frustration the residents are feeling and are working to try bring about a speedy solution to what is a very serious problem.