Garden Route Dam Spillway on track for completion

Construction on the raising of the Garden Route Dam spillway commenced on 13 May 2019 and is on track to be completed within the 10 months construction program.

Heavy construction vehicles are operating on both the MTO/NMMU and George side of the dam wall

The old concrete spillway has been demolished and the new drainage channel excavated. This drainage channel will also provide drainage during the construction period in the event that the site is flooded. 

More than 500 rock anchors have been installed into the bedrock

The raising of the dam wall is progressing steadily with the placing of the approximately 6500 m3 of suitable fill material extracted from the dam basin on the MTO Forestry / Nelson Mandela University side of the dam and the material excavated to accommodate the new spillway.

The excavation for the spillway has been completed and the placing of the first basic concrete layer has started. More than 500 rock anchors have been installed into the bedrock. These rock anchors will effectively tie/secure the new concrete structure above to the bedrock below. 

Access prohibited

The public is reminded that unauthorised access to the construction site is strictly prohibited to ensure the safety of the public. Heavy construction vehicles are operating on both the MTO/NMMU and George side of the dam wall. The required signage is in place to warn the public that the area is a construction site and only authorised persons are permitted to access this area wearing the correct safety clothing.  We continue to appeal to all hikers, cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts to stay clear of all plantation and forest terrain, tracks and roads south of the train tracks above the dam. The work site is much larger than just the area directly adjacent to the dam and is potentially extremely dangerous for people who are not meant to be there.

Affected terrain

All terrain above the dam that is south of the train tracks, as well as all terrain east of Meyer Street at the Garden Route Dam entrance including MTO property and area west of NMU campus.

Primary affected roads

Heavy vehicle activity on the public roads directly adjacent to the site, including the Meyer Street entrance to the dam and Madiba Drive between Meyer Street and a plantation access road in Madiba Drive (about halfway between Meyer and Nelson Mandela University George Campus). All road users are requested to take extreme care, to not speed or overtake in blind areas.

Secondary affected roads

Heavy vehicles will be delivering materials to the site, which will have an impact on Knysna Road, Madiba Drive, Mission and Industrial Roads.

Please do not be tempted to ignore signage because it looks like a site is not active. There is a lot that will be happening in areas that may not be obvious and visible, and areas where work is underway may be unstable and should not be entered just because workers or equipment do not seem to be around or are not visible.

A special appeal is being made to cyclists to please find routes outside this area and to not take any chances. Heavy vehicles will be using almost all the plantation and forest roads that cyclists frequent. Cyclists speeding down mountain paths run the risk of encountering large vehicles on winding plantation roads and they may not be able to stop or get out of the way in time if they come upon a truck. The area is always considered a high-risk site 24 hours, seven days a week. Ongoing safety risk reviews will be carried out and areas will be opened to public access only if it is considered safe for general access.

Signage at has been erected at as many points of access as possible, however it must be noted that the area is not fenced, and the municipality will rely on citizens to help spread the word and to warn and discourage people from accessing the area. Ongoing messaging on several municipal communication channels will also take place.

Project details

The completed raised dam wall and spillway will increase the storage capacity of the Garden Route Dam by about 25% to 12.5 million cubic metres, providing an overall increase of almost 11% to George’s total available raw water resources. The construction activity period is expected to be ten months from time of commencement, which was in May 2018.

The Municipality sincerely thanks the residents for adhering to the restrictions as this allows construction to continue without undue interruption and additional safety risks.

All enquiries must please be referred to the Municipality for comment and feedback gvanniekerk@george.gov.za 

Caption: The excavation for the spillway has been completed and the placing of the first basic concrete layer has started.

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