Promenade construction halted indefinitely

It’s unclear when construction will resume at the Granger Bay parking lot and the beach area.

Residents are outraged by the mess left when work at the Granger Bay parking lot and the Mouille Point beach strip stopped just before the Christmas break.

The construction was part of a R41 million upgrade.

Ward 54 councillor Nicola Jowell said issues regarding a slow work rate as well as occupational safety were brought up last year.

“At the close of work last year there was also an Occupational Health and Safety issue raised on the site. The Department has taken the difficult decision to proceed with the terminating of the contract due to poor performance which is in breach of the contract. This is of course the worst case scenario for the promenade,” said Ms Jowell.

The engineering firm HHO, who are listed on the presentation of the upgrade, has yet to respond to questions from the Atlantic Sun about their involvement in this departure.

Lennard Kahn from Mouille Point asked how long they have to continue looking at what he calls a shocking state of affairs.

“I feel that they saw last year they were getting nowhere with this job. Why did no one find out the problem? There is now a mountain of ground standing and weeds are growing all over the place,” Mr Kahn said.

Lydia Beyer said the rubble has stopped birds from visiting and wildflowers from blossoming along this stretch of the promenade.

“It has been many weeks since the contractors ripped up the parking lot only to continue moving the chaos and rubble from side to side. The deep trenches for the foundations have been half filled. Now rusting metal weaponing is sticking out from everywhere. The sand and dust blows everywhere, making a walk very unpleasant. The robot at the intersection of Beach Road and Fritz Sonnenberg Road has been out of order for weeks. Pedestrians are at risk for cars simply ignore the crossing and speed by,” said Ms Beyer.

Carnita Ferrara said it’s frustrating to see the unfinished work interrupting the view.

“Everything has just been abandoned and it spoils the view, it seems unfinished and we want to be proud of our area and hopefully this will be done as soon as possible,” Ms Ferrara said.

Brian Evans, a retired engineer, said he is concerned about the tendering process that allowed a company that’s not qualified to handle the engineering activity.

“My question is related to contractor prequalification and bid review. Given that the scope is uncomplicated, there should be very little variance in the pricing. Was this contractor low bid and by how much,” said Mr Evans.

He said the contract was awarded in May 2023 and that it was terminated within months, asking more questions of the contractors ability.

“What elements of the contract delivery did they fall down on? I suspect they ran into financial troubles and were short on resources since it reared its head fairly early in the contract,” he said.

Mouille Point Ratepayers’ co-ordinator, Jane Meyer, said the situation is most unfortunate.

“We understand that if the contractor was not performing or meeting deadlines, then they need to be replaced but then there should be a mechanism in place to be able to appoint someone else at short notice to continue with the job. It shouldn’t just be left in limbo. The only people suffering are the residents as they have to live with unsightly and dusty construction sites with no end in the foreseeable future due to the lengthy legal process that will now need to be followed,” said Ms Meyer.

Ms Jowell said construction could be halted for a few months as they undertake a legal process with the contractor.

“The priority over the last few weeks from the Parks Department is to get the irrigation which has been damaged all back up and running, this did start last year and is continuing.The project manager is also quantifying all the outstanding work on site. As soon as the legalities of the contract termination are done they will put in place the contingency plan. This will involve making use of term tenders for some of the work on site and trying to secure the new grass and plants (for the berms) from the sub-contractors and of course making sure that the site is safe,” she said.

Residents can no longer walk around this area due to the rubble left behind.