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Phase 1 of Mushroom Park stormwater rehab project is complete

JRA has unveiled its solution to the risk of flooding in Sandown near Mushroom Park.

The first phase to rehabilitate Mushroom Park’s stormwater management system cost R13.6m.

The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA), in collaboration with the City of Johannesburg, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 26 to herald the completion of this phase.
In 2020, heavy rains caused flooding of the low bridge on Linden Street, resulting in a motorist losing their life.

JRA acting CEO Zweli Nyathi elaborated on the financial cost to prevent any future flooding. “The damage caused by the 2020 floods required emergency works to safeguard the public and infrastructure, as well as at the low bridge crossing at Linden Street,” said Nyathi.

MMC for Transport Kenny Kunene, Ward 91 councillor Andrew Stewart, JRA acting CEO Zweli Nyathi and JRA head of department Kwazelela Mcetywa

The park has faced other challenges, highlighted by Ward 91 councillor Andrew Stewart in his welcoming speech. “Since the Covid-19 lockdown era, the park suffered a few problems. There have been ongoing maintenance issues, as well as the collapsed drain system and broken bridge further up in the background,” Stewart said.

“I think in the overall attempt to refurbish the park and to restore it to its former glory, from my perspective, this is a great project which I think is going to complement the overall effort to uplift the appearance of Mushroom Farm Park in general.”

Robin van der Byl walks across the low bridge.

Infrastructure and development head of department at JRA, Kwazelela Mcetywa shared his assessment of how the disaster in 2020 had happened and the changes implemented. “The area where we are standing is the lowest point within the Sandton precinct. There are a lot of interconnecting stormwater outlets which drain down this particular area,” Mcetywa explained.
“You would expect a lot of water every time it rains in this area, hence it became critical that we manage the flow of the water and keep it as low as possible.

Robin van der Byl walks across the low bridge.

“Before the incident occurred, there were only two gutter openings. We have upgraded and installed four of them to eliminate flooding on the road. We have constructed about 120m of 600mm diameter pipe which bypasses the pond in the event of flooding, taking the water straight up into the attenuation point.”

JRA infrastructure development head of department Kwazeela Mcetywa.

Objective of the project:

The project’s main aim was to slow the flow and the velocity of the water so that:

  • there is no flooding
  • there is no erosion
  • there is no scouring.

The scope of the stormwater rehabilitation project entailed:

  • upgrading the retention (duck pond) which retains water for a while
  • Refurbishing the attenuation point that drains water out in a controlled manner to the outlet and upgrading the actual outlet structure that one can refer to as the bridge.
Acting regional operations manager in Region E Tebogo Mogashoa directs the programme and Ward 91 councillor Andrew Stewart welcomes everyone.

How the project has solved the park’s problems:

The water from this pond, once it reaches a certain level, then drains down into the attenuation point in a controlled manner, from which it then disperses further downstream. In that way, it keeps the flow velocity of water as low as possible.

Former Ward 91 councillor Jeff Pietersen. Photos: Lebogang Tlou

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