Water under the wooden bridge

Signage of open escavations have been placed close to the spot where digging has started.

Work has started on renovating the old wooden bridge at Woodbridge Island.

Contractors set up a site office in shipping containers in a nearby parking lot last week, cordoned off the area and posted signage warning of “open excavations” near where digging has started.

Ruwacon Construction, which specialises in renovating state property, landed the R20.5 million contract earlier this year to fix the rotting bridge (“Wooden bridge upgrades imminent,” Tabletalk April 18).

According to Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban development, a section of the old bridge will be dismantled this week and gabions are being built to brace the banks of the lagoon.

The community meanwhile remains divided over the project.

On the Milnerton Neighbours Facebook page, Jacqui Pember said each post about the bridge “brings out the moaners” and she urged people to move on.

Justin Wilson said the money would either go to the bridge or to government pockets.

“I choose the bridge,” he said.

But others still believe the project is a waste of money and compare it to the renaming of Cape Town International Airport which they argue is also a big waste of time and money.

Sharon Kaplan, who lives near the lagoon, called the bridge project “a pathetic waste of much-needed money” that could be better spent.

“The lagoon is badly polluted due to broken sewage pipes from informal settlements.

“Rather spend the money on repairing the lagoon situation to bring it back to being a fun family and doggy outing,” she said.

Trevor Moodley, from Sanddrift, felt the bridge — built by British army engineers during the Boer War — had a “tainted history” and was a reminder of the country’s oppressive colonial past.

“They should take the remnants of the bridge to the Milnerton library and put it on display along with old pictures of the bridge.

“That way people can learn about the history and it will get people visiting the library again.”

Mr Moodley agreed with building an esplanade and a viewing deck but said the bridge was “kaput”.