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Gas tanker explosion: Prasa set to fix damaged rail-road bridge

The closure of the section of the road presents a serious problem for residents of Plantation and emergency services vehicles.

This publication understands that the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has taken it upon itself to rehabilitate the railroad bridge, which was damaged during the Boksburg gas tanker explosion.

The rail agency has, however, not yet officially responded to our request for more information on the plan to fix the infrastructure.
The Christmas Eve tragedy at the bridge on Hospital Road, Plantation, prompted authorities to cordon off the area, restricting traffic from using the stretch of road to travel between Plantation and the southern part of the area across the railway line.

The city’s stormwater drainage system at the flood-prone section of the road under the bridge also suffered severe damage in the massive explosion.

When asked as to whom the metro believe is responsible for fixing the bridge, metro spokesperson Zweli Dlamini responded: “It is a Prasa bridge and they have a responsibility to fix it.”
We also asked the metro whether it will be involved to ensure that the section of the bridge, including the stormwater system and sewer lines that form part of the city’s infrastructure, are properly rehabilitated.
Dlamini said: “Where there is a role for us to play in the process, it shall be identified, brought to our attention and the intervention to be determined.”

The rehabilitation of the bridges may lead to the reopening of the stretch of Hospital Road.

He added that if the road and the bridge are deemed safe to use after Prasa’s project, as a city they will not have a reason not to reopen the stretch of road.
Information gathered by this journalist indicates that Prasa is in the process of finding contractors to carry out the demolition and construction of the bridge. The rail agency is reportedly anticipating having a service provider appointed and sent to the site before the end of this month.

Ward councillor Marius De Vos welcomed the reports that the rail agency is preparing to fix the much-needed bridge.
“Fixing and reopening the road will ease the pressure and traffic nightmare on the alternative roads and rail bridges. The closure of the section of the road presents a serious problem for residents of Plantation and the hospital and emergency services vehicles,” said De Vos.

The wreckage of the vehicles are still at the scene following the massive explosion.

The story will be updated once more information becomes available.

Also Read: Night vigil to remember victims of gas tanker explosion

   

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