Sea Point Promenade has undergone a revamp in the third phase of a long term project, with improved seating, play parks and a stronger sea wall.
The City of Cape Town’s Transport Department completed phase two in December 2018 and is only a small part of the project that is aimed at creating an exceptional public and recreational space.
Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Felicity Purchase, explains that the project is aimed at creating crucial infrastructure that will last for more than 80 years against harsh environmental conditions.
“It needs to be appreciated that this project is not just a simple paving project. It is a major civil engineering undertaking, the primary objective of which is to rehabilitate and strengthen the sea wall which has had to withstand the onslaught of the sea for well over 80 years in places,” Purchase said.
Sea Point Promenade is a popular area in Cape Town, with locals and tourists often found walking, cycling or enjoying the recreational space.
The second phase has focused on the section between the Mouille Point lighthouse and the beach at Granger Bay, Rocklands Bay along with the section of sea wall opposite the intersection at Hall Road and Beach Road.
Deterioration of the sea wall over an extended period of time prompted the city to begin restoration of the wall and promenade rehabilitation in 2012. The project aims to strengthen and upgrade the sea wall to increase the longevity of the popular public space.
Due to the scale of the project, it is being undertaken in phases with the first stage being completed in 2015. The first phase refurbished the seal wall and the promenade area between Three Anchor By and the Mouille Point lighthouse.
The walls have been strengthened with reinforced concrete, which included excavating down behind the wall and recladding the front of the wall with precast concrete panels. New railings are also installed and the promenade area behind is repaved. Concrete used in the project is specifically designed and manufactured to withstand extreme exposure.
Weather and environmental conditions play a vital role in the construction process, as work cannot be completed during rough seas. Over time the protective natural stone facing used has deteriorated due to being battered with ocean swells, and must be replaced. Improvements to the wall will add at least an additional 50 years to the lifespan of the wall. The patchwork of emergency repairs has been removed to improve the aesthetics of the space.
“We also installed new precast concrete bollards with stainless steel railings, stone-clad seating walls and timber benches that require very little maintenance,” Purchase said.
Renovations include the input of more public seating on the Promenade.
“A new feature on the Promenade is the new seating walls, which provide the public with a place to rest and enjoy the view, while preserving the original stone facing recovered from the wall as well as preventing the wash of seawater from flooding the area behind the seating walls,” said Purchase.
The original look of the wall will be consistent with a ‘simulated stone finish’.
Play parks have been upgraded along the Sea Point Promenade, enhancing the public space for children and families.
“Independently of the sea wall project, we upgraded the play parks along the Sea Point Promenade. The ‘new’ parks have seating areas where parents can enjoy the space while watching their children play – a move that ensures that visitors and residents alike benefit from the optimal use of this resource,” she said.
Picture: Supplied/City of Cape Town