Route 60 Repairs Underway
A slip failure of the road embankment occurred on the R60 between Ashton and Swellendam in October, causing a large subsidence across almost the full width of the road. This required that the road be completely closed as it is not safe for the public.
The site of the failure is about 15 km from Swellendam.
The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works (TPW) immediately investigated the cause of the failure and proposed repair measures.
A contractor who was carrying out flood damage repairs for TPW in the area at the time was instructed to carry out the necessary repair works.
Temporary road signs redirecting traffic via the N2 and the R317 have been installed at major intersections in the following areas:
The contractor is presently busy excavating the failed fill embankment. It is estimated that about 30 000 m³ of material will have to be removed and stockpiled. This should be completed by 30 November 2012.
Once the fill has been removed, a rock pioneer layer can be placed to stabilise the embankment, after which the fill material can be replaced and compacted. This work is expected to be completed by 8 February 2013.
The road layerworks, surfacing and guardrails can then be completed. If there are no delays, the road should be re-opened by 28 February 2013. This date is based on the assumption that the contractor will shut down the site over the December holiday.
Initially it was aimed to have the road opened before Christmas 2012. However the damage to the road is far greater than initially thought and will therefore not be repaired before this time.
Part of the repair work will be to ensure that groundwater is prevented from filtering through beneath the fill. This, along with the heavy rains, could have been a contributing factor to the failure.
The Double Century Cycle Race which takes place on 24 November 2012 has been re-routed around the site via a 400 m temporary gravel road to allow the race to continue as planned.
Protest action in surrounding towns caused some delays in maintenance work. It may cause further delays if the contractor decides it is not safe to work.