The Western Cape Minister of Infrastructure, Tertuis Simmers, and Langeberg Mayor, Schalk Van Eeden, have launched the Cogmanskloof Pass in Montagu at a ceremonial ribbon cutting
It marked the completion of the Western Cape government’s rehabilitation of 13.4 km of Trunk Road 31/2 from Ashton to Montagu through Cogmanskloof Pass.
Another part of the project – the Ashton Arch bridge - was awarded the 2022 Fulton Award for the best infrastructure project, receiving commendation for innovation and invention in concrete. It is anticipated that more accolades are to follow as it has been entered into the 2022 CESA AON Engineering Excellence Awards, with winners due to be announced on 28 September.
Construction of the pass project commenced in May 2019 and entailed the reconstruction of the road from the west of Ashton through the Cogmanskloof, onto the east of Montagu. Three bridges – Ashton, Boy Retief and Voortrekker – were also replaced.
A multitude of economic opportunities were unlocked through the project. They include the creation of over 600 individual work opportunities and millions of investments on emerging contractor development, training courses for local labourers, and on local subcontractors, manufacturers, and suppliers.
At the completion of the project a total of 42% of the contract value was allocated to the creation of economic opportunities and entrepreneurial capacity in the surrounding areas.
Simmers said, “The opening of the Cogmanskloof Pass is not only a historic moment for the Western Cape Government, it is an even greater one for the community of this region. The R62 is a major thoroughfare between the N1 and N2, and this project improves the current road into a dual carriageway allowing unrestricted movement towards Swellendam to the N2, as well as major tourist routes (R60 towards Oudtshoorn).”
Additional work conducted at Cogmanskloof included reconstruction of the roadway:addition of 1.5 m wide surfaced shoulders; raising the existing road level at various positions to improve flood protection; reconstruction of the bridge (Boy Retief Bridge); improving the horizontal alignment (Aasvoëlkrans); construction of scour protection at the existing bridge (Billy Loftus Bridge), and construction of rest areas and pedestrian walkways.