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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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Guru
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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: 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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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Somerset West
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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 Post subject: Re: Balule Low water bridge
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:19 am
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Location: KZN South Coast-Just too far from Kruger
I will be staying at Olifants on the 3rd and 4th of October. I was really hoping that the bridge would be open by then!!!

I was last there in October, two years ago and the bridge was out of commission then. I can't understand why it has taken them so long to repair it. It's very disappointing, as this is such a wonderful spot to view all types of birdlife and game. Not to mention easy access, past Balule, to the surrounding roads in the area.

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Low water bridge
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:50 am 
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The way I understand it, Mauxie, is that, due to unprecedented flood damage twice in a relatively short time period, priority was given to other areas. The Balule bridge is one of my favourite in Kruger and I can barely wait for it to be functional again.

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Low water bridge
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:29 am 
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We have booked Balule for 6 nights end Oct, early Nov and also thought about the bridge not being open yet and how it will impact our stay at Balule. Last time we spent a week at Balule while the bridge was closed, and still enjoyed it immensely. The drive 'around' is long, but there are so many options when staying in the area.

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 Post subject: Low level bridge at Balule
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:29 pm
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Can anyone help. Im trying to find out if the low level bridge near Balule connecting the S90 to S91 over the Olifants River is open. Last I heard it was still closed after the last floods. In going there at the end of September so I need to plan which route to take.
Ragards
Gordon


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 Post subject: Re: Low level bridge at Balule
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:56 am 
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Hi Nubbs

Here is the latest official info we have.

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It's not too late at all. You just don't yet know what you are capable of. Mahatma Gandhi


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 Post subject: Re: Balule Low water bridge
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:28 am
Posts: 56
Location: Johannesburg
I'm afraid that the causeway at Balule is still closed. I was there from 30 Sept. to 2nd October and it looks as if it will be closed for a while. On the positive side however, I must say that the camp itself is a delight. This was my first Balule camp, and will not be my last. On the first night I woke at about 2am for a bathroom visit and walking through the camp was magical. Everything at Balule is kept in 100% shape. The cooking / washing up area is spotless as are the ablutions. The camp sites are generous in size and all the people who were there during my stay were considerate campers. We had a serious Hyena serenade on the last night the.....magic.


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