Hermann Heymann, Sunningdale
In the Tabletalk of November 30 2016 it has been reported that the City plans to rebuild the wooden bridge at the entrance to Woodbridge Island at a cost of R30m.
In a presentation to the public on November 24, it was argued that rebuilding the bridge was the only option.
Three other options were mentioned and dismissed for various reasons.
Well, there is a further option, and that is to simply dismantle the bridge. If the bridge’s provincial heritage-site status precludes it being dismantled, then the provincial heritage-site status should be reconsidered.
The South African Heritage Resources Act makes provision for a notice that declared a site to have provincial heritage-site status to be withdrawn.
The current status of the bridge is simply a label that has been attached and which can be removed through a prescribed legal process. It does not mean that the City is compelled to spend R30m on rebuilding a bridge that will not serve any useful function.
If the bridge is rebuilt, it will, obviously, not carry any vehicular traffic. The sidewalks of the Woodbridge Drive Bridge are more than adequate for the pedestrians using it now and in the future.
The wooden bridge has little or no aesthetic significance, and if it is rebuilt with largely new timber, it will have no historical significance.
There is no justification for spending R30m on rebuilding this bridge.