The N3 freeway between the Van Buuren Road offramp in Bedfordview and the N3-M2 split – also known as the Geldenhuys interchange – is expected to remain closed for Thursday and Friday after a bridge collapsed in the area on Wednesday morning.
Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi, has said he is surprised the collapsed pedestrian bridge was inspected and declared safe by the South Africa National Road Agency last year.
“Sanral did an inspection of the bridge and we were told that the bridge was in a good condition and we have a certificate in that regard. What happened on Wednesday was shocking.”
According to the Sanral the bridge was built in 1978 and has been closed off to the public for a number of years.
A number of experts have been brought in to assess the collapse, including demolition experts from the Sanral as the bridge was decommissioned under its name. The road agency has explained this will take at least two days to complete
“The complete demolition of the bridge is underway. We have managed to get demolition experts on site to dismantle the remainder of the bridge. This may take as long as two days,” said Sanral.
Motorists travelling south are being diverted at Gillooly’s Interchange and Van Buuren Road, while those travelling northbound are being diverted onto the M2 highway.
The scene has been handed over to South African Police Services for investigation.