What is the Swingbridge?
The Swingbridge is a walkway that allows pedestrians to cross the stretch of water connecting the Pierhead Precinct and the Clock Tower Precinct. When required, the bridge can be swung away to allow ships free passage on their journey to the sea.
What is its history?
The original bridge was designed and constructed in 1997, a time when the area received less pedestrian traffic. With new development at the Silo District, a larger bridge was required to cater for the increased footfall.
How does the new bridge differ?
The length of the new bridge remains unchanged at 42 meters, but it will be twice as wide at 4 meters. A raised beam running down the centre of the bridge will encourage people to always enter the bridge to their left.
The new bridge, which rotates on one bearing similar to a crane tower, is mechanically advanced and will increase capacity during peak periods. Advanced technology will also ensure the bridge needs less down-time for mechanical maintenance.
How many visitors cross the bridge every month?
Since January this year, close to 1 million people (865 595 at end April) visitors have crossed the bridge. On average, 180 000 to 240 000 people cross the bridge every month all depending the season and events taking place on the property.
How will the new bridge be installed?
Work on the new bridge began in late 2018 and requires two construction phases. Phase one was finished in February. The bridge will be out of commission during the second installation period, which will commence on 20 May until 17 June. The new bridge will be opened to the public on 18 June 2019.
Although the completed bridge will require only two full days to be barged to the Cut and craned into place, time is required to first remove the old bridge, and to commission the new one. During this time (planned for 20-24 May and weather dependant), there will be additional noise pollution, but the teams will keep all disruptions to a minimum and the works will take place from after 10pm to 6am.
The areas around the Victoria and Alfred Hotel, swingbridge and the African Trading Port Building will be affected by this.
What alternatives are in place for pedestrians?
While the bridge is under final construction, a ferry service will run between the Pierhead Deck and the Clock Tower building from 7:30am to 6:30pm while a My CiTi bus shuttle service will operate between the Bascule Bridge (close to the Cape Grace Hotel) and Silo Square from 6:30pm to 11:30pm.
In addition, the V&A Waterfront will ensure visitors also have the option of using Mellowcabs (an electric bicycle) which can be found at Noble Square and Silo Square or a bicycle, also found at the same locations.
All of the above services are free of charge.
Who is the contractor and designer for this project?
The designer of the bridge is SMEC South Africa and the contractor is Stefanutti Stocks Coastal.