The City of Cape Town plans to spend R27 million on a contract to restore the historic Old Wooden Bridge in Milnerton.
The 115-year-old bridge has become a local landmark and spans a lagoon, providing access to Woodbridge Island.
In 2007, it was ruled that the bridge was not fit for public use after its condition had deteriorated over the years.
The City's Brett Herron says that the restoration project cannot be delayed any longer.
The bridge will be restored over two years, and most of it will have to be replaced as it is unsalvageable.
Once it is restored, the bridge will be opened as non-motorised transport link for pedestrians and cyclists, says Herron.
When asked if the project is the most effective use of ratepayers money, Herron explains that budget allocation takes in to account the legal obligation to restore it as a declared national heritage site.
He says it is the only wooden structure of it's kind in the country.
The bridge is the only one of it's kind in South Africa. It is a heritage site... We have an obligation, in terms of legislation, to restore and protect it.— Brett Herron, MayCo member for Transport
The declaration as a heritage site, places it on the highest order of assets.— Brett Herron, MayCo member for Transport
According to Herron, the chances are slim that a demolition application would be approved for the bridge instead.
Take a listen to Brett Herron state the City's case:
This article first appeared on KFM : Facelift for historic Milnerton bridge at cost of R27m raises eyebrows