The raising of the spillway is 75% completed with the spillway wall footings done and the drainage channel cast.
The high-pressure grouting is also almost complete, with one final hole remaining to be grouted at the last site inspection visit. All grout tests have passed so far. The process of construction of the new spillway walls has commenced, with the fixing of the wall steel and the grouting in of the anchor bars into the existing spillway retaining walls.
The earth embankment wall raising has reached its final height and the finishing work will include the final gravel wearing course layer and installation of the settlement monitoring beacons. Grass seeding of the downstream wall will be concluded soon. The borrow-pit used to obtain the wall material has been trimmed and will receive rehabilitation work over the next month.
The Municipality has completed a series of controlled burns to clear alien vegetation in those areas that pose a fire risk surrounding the dam site, with a further burn planned in February 2020 in the area directly surrounding the dam wall area (subject to weather conditions).
The planned Cape Agency for Sustainable Integrated Development in Rural Areas (CASIDRA) managed alien vegetation clearing operation for a width of approximately 50m along the stream edge of the Kat and Swart River systems upstream of the dam is expected to start in early 2020.
Heavy construction vehicles are currently still operating on both the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) / Nelson Mandela University (NMU) and George sides of the dam wall, this includes the harvesting of lumber in the DEFF area. 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.
The Municipality sincerely thanks the majority of its residents for adhering to the restrictions as this allows construction to continue without undue interruption and additional safety, financial and program risks. Regrettably there are still a number of cyclists/residents who continue to ignore the warning signage at extreme risk to their own lives.
All enquiries must please be referred to Gvanniekerk@george.gov.za for feedback and comment.
Photographs: Adrian Van Molendorf