Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato officially opened the new R20m swing bridge at V&A Waterfront this month. The upgraded swing bridge replaces the previous pedestrian walkway connecting the Pierhead Precinct with the Clock Tower Precinct.
The original swing bridge was designed and constructed in 1997, but an increase in visitor numbers over the years has led to the need for a bridge which is able to accommodate more foot traffic. The new bridge remains 42m in length but has doubled in width to four metres with a raised beam down the centre to encourage a separation in the direction of foot traffic. When required, the bridge can be swung away to allow ships free passage on their journey to the sea.
Notable features of the new bridge are:
It can operate in wind speeds of up to 60km/h.
It can withstand the impact of a passing vessel and swing to free itself to protect the mechanism
“The V&A Waterfront is one of our tourism hubs, becoming one of the central places where locals and tourists can embark on sightseeing trips, boat cruises, cultural experiences, shopping and entertainment. I am pleased to see that the V&A Waterfront management continue to invest in the space to support its growing appeal and contribute positively to the city’s economic growth and performance. The V&A Waterfront is one of the first places that tourists visit and it is also popular among Capetonians, offering a world-class space and scenery,” said Plato.
The V&A Waterfront is one of the most visited destinations in Africa, attracting 24 million visitors every year. Since January, nearly 900,000 people have made use of the previous bridge, which means more than 200,000 visitors make use of the bridge on a monthly basis.