Clarence Drive is set to reopen today, 11 December 2023. While the road will be opened as soon as it is safe, road users are urged to plan and delay trips till late afternoon to allow teams to fully vacate the site. The road will be open, with traffic accommodation, in time for afternoon traffic at 16:00.
Repairs to Clarence Drive have progressed to the point that one-way traffic can be accommodated. This is a week ahead of initial projections. The scenic road one of economic importance, was closed after it sustained significant damage following the unprecedented weather system that hit the Western Cape during the Heritage Day long weekend. However, several restrictions remain in place for reasons of public safety.
This scenic route which is a vital economic connector between Gordon’s Bay and the coastal towns of Rooi Els, Betty’s Bay, and Pringle Bay suffered serious damage as a result of a number of significant landslips and rockslides. Clearing continued as areas became stable enough to work on, but the main priority remained to enable one lane of traffic at a time to use the road until two-way traffic could be restored.
A word of caution – even when one-way traffic becomes possible this afternoon, based on construction requirements, there is a high likelihood of extended closures which will either be for set times during the day or for several days at a time. The Western Cape Government strongly advises regular users of this road to be prepared for such closures which may be at short notice. Closures during the peak festive season are unlikely. Updates will be posted on the Western Cape Government’s website.
The provincial Minister of Infrastructure Tertius Simmers shared his sentiment on the timeous reopening of this route. “Today marks a significant milestone as we reopen this key tourist route, fostering renewed connections and opportunities for growth and prosperity for the region. While we were resolute in our commitment to have the road open to one-way traffic by mid-December, we had to remain aware of the fact that many variables could delay this opening.”
“There are 6 stop-and-go points on Clarence Drive and one at Palmiet Bridge, bringing it to a total of 7 stop-and-go points between Gordon’s Bay and Kleinmond which will add to your travel time. I urge road users to factor in additional travel time when using this route. I further ask road users to be patient and to be courteous towards pointsmen and -women. While the additional travel time may be frustrating, our teams are diligently working to ensure smooth traffic flow and safety on these vital routes.” the Minister concluded.
Current indications are that repairs to this route will cost approximately R80 million. This cost includes repairs to the Palmiet Bridge, which also sustained significant damage.