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 Post subject: Low level bridge at Balule
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:41 pm
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Location: Horizon View
Hi there,
I'm not sure whether this question has been asked and answered already, but can anyone tell me whether the low bridge crossing the Olifants River at Balule has been repaired and is operational again?

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 Post subject: Re: Low level bridge at Balule
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:23 am 
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Will find out for you Chip :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Low level bridge at Balule
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:46 am 
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Dear Chip

We are expecting the appointment of the contractor by probably the end of this month. We plan to have the contractor on site by mid-August. It will take about 8 months to complete the project. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Low level bridge at Balule
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:48 am 
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Thank you for your reply Lesego. I hope that all goes according to plan, because if that is the case, the bridge should be open at the end of April next year (according to my calculations). We will be at Balule at the beginning of May next year for 3 nights and so, Lesego, let's hold thumbs!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Low level bridge at Balule
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:49 am 
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Holding thumbs as well!

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 Post subject: Re: Low level bridge at Balule
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:18 am
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Location: Port Elizabeth
Friedrich von Hörsten wrote:

On Thursday, our last day there, the contractor filled the "coffer dam" to stop water flowing across the southern end of the bridge. Vehicles started using this road, even the Sanparks bus. So the campers started driving across to Olifants -- 12 km instead of 35 km! What a treat. More options to drive. So we did it and spend the afternoon in Olifants camp, but were back at the bridge by 4:45, within sight of Balule.
Bad news. A Sanparks vehicle was parked diagonally across the road to bar any further crossings! So we suddenly had another 20 km to get back home before dark... which turned into good luck for us, as a caracal lynx (my first ever in Kruger!) crossed the road ahead of us, but there was no time for photos!
After the high level bridge crossing, we got onto our dirt road back to camp, to find an aggressive elephant bull in musth walking towards us and hogging the road... spent about 10 minutes waiting while other cars backed up behind us. Eventually we squeezed past and he charged us, but we got back to camp at exactly 5:30!

Hope you have better luck and that the bridge will now be permanently open to all traffic, even while they are still working on the actual structure on the southern end!


According to Friedrich von Hörsten's above post (relevant extract) on the Balule camp thread, it seems that the contractor has already started??? Doesn't tie up to what Lesego has indicated. Lesego, you sure of the information you have received? Those on the ground, so to speak, tell a completely different story to yours. Still quite a bit of confusion...

Kind regards,

Pat

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 Post subject: Re: Low level bridge at Balule
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:22 pm 
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I don't think Sanparks want people to use this temporary dirt crossing -- it is meant to cut off the running water. I suppose they will have to do another similar wall lower, then pump out the water before they can start laying concrete in that gap. But the following pics will prove that it was being done on Thursday, 3 July 2014.

What a difference when you can cross the river without going 35 km to Olifants! Also spectacular for viewing elephants at sunset from the bridge! Will have to go back to experience that properly!

Image

Image

I don't know if this man is the "contractor". I do know that there were huge heaps of gravel etc. on the opposite bank, about 500m from the opposite bank T-junction. The trucks were making a hang of a noise, reversing back and forth across the bridge. Even the big white Sanparks bus used the crossing.

I think they would be making a HUGE mistake (same as with Croc Bridge) if they plan to finish this job in 8 months -- it will just get washed away again! The rainy season starts in November, so they need to finish it within the next four months!

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten

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