Railway pedestrian bridge proposed for Watergate Estate

The City of Cape Town has proposed replacing a dangerous informal railway crossing in Watergate Estate, Mitchell’s Plain with a pedestrian bridge with overhead lighting and CCTV cameras.

The pedestrian bridge will provide safe access to nearby public amenities including the future MyCiTi bus service which will include a stop on AZ Berman Drive, north of Sesame Street.

Residents have been invited to comment on the proposed bridget which will be built south of the R300 and west of AZ Berman Drive.

The closest formal streets are Moses Kottler Crescent, and Portulaca Street, Watergate Estate with many informal footpaths leading to the area where pedestrians are crossing the railway tracks on a daily basis.

“There is no existing pedestrian bridge for pedestrians to use to cross the railway tracks. As such, it is deemed very unsafe as pedestrians are at risk of being hit by trains as they walk across the exposed railway tracks,” said the City’s mayoral committee member for transport, Felicity Purchase.

The City plans for future MyCiTi bus services to run through the Mitchell’s Plain area. This is part of the imminent roll-out of Phase 2 of the MyCiTi service, said Ms Purchase.

“Hundreds of pedestrians are using this point as a short cut to get to and from the areas on the other side of the railway tracks. It is extremely dangerous to do so and this is why the City intends to build a pedestrian bridge that will be universally accessible, with good overhead lighting and CCTV cameras to improve the general safety in the area,” said Ms Purchase.

The cost of the bridge will be determined once the tender has been awarded, she said.

Chairperson of the Lentegeur Community Police Forum, Byron De Villiers, said it was a good proposal because of the number of people who make use of the informal crossing.

The City will host an open day at the Lentegeur Council Chambers today, Wednesday April 7, from 2pm to 6pm and at Northwood Community Hall, Woodlands from 2pm to 6pm. Covid-19 health and safety protocols will apply.

Maps, illustrations, and an artist’s impression of the pedestrian bridge will be available at the open day, and officials from the transport directorate will be present to answer questions.

“I encourage residents to make use of the commenting period. The open day is an ideal opportunity to see what the pedestrian bridge will look like, and to ask burning questions, or raise concerns,” said Ms Purchase.

The bridge will be located in the vicinity of existing informal footpaths, where there is pedestrian movement, concrete walls, parallel to the railway track on either side of the rail line, will be installed by Prasa to ensure pedestrians use the overhead bridge, she said.

The stairways and footpaths leading to the bridge will be well-lit to improve visibility at night and CCTV cameras will be installed to monitor the area and improve safety.

The construction tender will be advertised by the end of this year, and construction should start in November 2022, if all goes as planned, she said.

The closing date for public comment is Thursday April 29.

The City’s Public Participation Unit will assist people who cannot read or write, people living with disabilities and people from disadvantaged groups who are unable to submit written comments, to have their comments or input recorded and submitted to Anathi Dywili on 021 400 9809 or anathi.dywili@capetown.gov.za

You can also contact Natalie Billings on natalie.billings@capetown.gov.za for further information on this proposal.

Comments may also be submitted to the City via 0800 65 64 63 (free from a cell phone) or email transport.info@capetown.gov.za (quote reference 7200297366) or visit the Sub-council 23 offices, Lentegeur administrative building, on the corner of Melkbos and Merrydale roads, Lentegeur or visit the City’s website at www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay