Work has started to replace the existing pedestrian Marina Swing Bridge connecting the Alfred and Victoria Basins at the Clock Tower at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

According to Haniem Paleker, V&A Waterfront Customer Relations Coordinator within the Customer Service Team: “The Clock Tower pedestrian swing bridge is open at the moment, allowing access to the Nelson Mandela Gateway.”

The facility stopped operations on February 25 until March 1, and will once again cease operations between March 29 and April 17, when the new bridge is installed.

During the period the bridge will be out of operation, a MyCiTi bus shuttle service will operate between the Bascule Bridge, close to the Cape Grace Hotel, and Silo Square. The service will run approximately every six minutes between 05h30 and 23h30.

The original bridge was designed and constructed in 1997, a time when the area received less pedestrian traffic. 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 that the bridge needs less down-time for mechanical maintenance.

The length of the new bridge remains unchanged at 42 metres; however it will be twice as wide at four metres. A raised beam running down the centre of the bridge will encourage visitors to always enter the bridge to their left.

According to Amanda Dilima, V&A Waterfront Retail Manager, the completion date for construction will be April 30.