Closed bridge affects response times – residents association

A closed First Avenue Bridge have Edenvale Ridge residents up in arms. Seen here on the bridge is the Edenvale Ridge Residents Association Michael Anderson and Edenvale Ridge resident Colette Hinton. Surrounding the pair are road closure signs.

Concerns over a lack of security and the response time of emergency services have Edenvale Ridge residents up in arms.

Also read: DA questions EMM’s response to #floods

First Avenue bridge, the most direct route to the suburb, was damaged by the November floods and closed by the municipality.

Michael Anderson, the treasurer of the Edenvale Ridge Residents Association (ERRA), believes the closure of First Avenue bridge is putting the ridge community at risk.

Also read: Eastleigh business face closure after flood damage

Since the closure of the bridge, Anderson said there have been fewer patrols by security companies and SAPS in the suburb and the response time of emergency vehicle has been affected.

Anderson said he understands fixing the entire spruit will take time however he appealed to the municipality to repair the bridge.

“Because residents in Edenvale Ridge were not physically affected by the flood they decided not to complain about the damaged bridge before,” said Anderson.

However, after seeing very little done to address the bridge almost 10 months later the community decided to act.

Also read: Little action from metro on flood damage

Anderson said residents of Edenvale Ridge recently began an online petition in the hopes of getting the bridge fixed.

He said the petition has about 400 signatures already and will be used when the residents association decides to take legal action against the municipality.

ERRA’s choice to seek legal action comes after the Johannesburg High Court ruled in favour of an Eastleigh business granting it the authority to remedy a portion of the spruit.

Also read: Restoring Edenvale after the floods

The Eastleigh business, Fluid Power, held a meeting with their legal representatives, to urge other businesses to take legal action against the municipality.

“In July we had a house fire and the fire engine tried to come down First Avenue but had to go around via Aitken Road to get to the burning house. Thank goodness for the neighbours who helped put out the fire,” said Anderson.

He explained although it is relatively easy to access Edenvale Ridge, it has become extremely difficult to exit the area.

“In the morning it can take you an hour to get to Elm Street from Edenvale Ridge, trying to get out at Aitken is no better,” said Anderson.

Anderson believes this is the reason for fewer patrols in the area.

Also read: #Floods – Lack of maintenance has lead to a costly disaster

Colette Hinton, a resident, agreed with Anderson and said she is very worried about how emergency services respond to situations.

“I estimate that the closure of the bridge has added an extra 10 minutes to response times, depending on which area they come from,” said a concerned Hinton.

In response, William Ntladi, spokesperson for Ekurhuleni’s Emergency Services Disaster and Emergency Management Services (DEMS), said DEMS treat the closure of the bridge the same way it would treat a road closure.

“Response time will be affected if the emergency services resources are responding from the Edenvale SAPS side,” said Ntladi.

He explained if emergency services respond from the Edenvale Fire Station, alternative routes are used and “response time remains the same”.

Ntladi said if the bridge was repaired it would assist the responding unit if an emergency was on First Avenue.

Capt Jean Olckers, the spokesperson of the Edenvale SAPS, said although the bridge is closed SAPS make use of alternative routes to get to Edenvale Ridge.He said response time has not been compromised by the closure of the bridge.

“We have received no formal complaints about this matter,” said Olckers.

Because Edenvale Ridge falls within sector two, Olckers urged residents to contact the sector two vehicles and request more patrols in the area.

Olckers reminded residents of Edenvale Ridge to be extremely specific about their addresses when reporting crimes.

A request for comment was sent the Ekurhuleni’s communication department and to Robert Mashego, MMC of Infrastructure Services, questioning why the bridge has not been fixed.

The request was sent on July 25 requesting comment by July 28 at 1pm. On July 27 a reminder for the request for comment was sent to the municipality.

Following the reminder staff at Ekurhuleni communication department said the enquiry had been received and sent to the relevant department.

Also read: Father relives flood horror

At the time of going to print no comment had been received.

To report crime or suspicious activity phone 0860 010 111 or 10111.

Sector two’s contact number is 071 675 6842. To report fires and medical emergencies contact 011 999 2093/4 (ambulance and fire) 011 458 0911 (Edenvale Fire Department).

Email [email protected]

Stephan Lehman

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