Friday, February 19, 2010

Plans to demolish cooling towers confirmed

By Ofentse Mokae
19 February 2010


Plans by the City of Cape Town to demolish the Athlone cooling towers have been confirmed.

The city’s Mayco member for Utility services Clive Justus says this will take place as soon as possible.

This follows damage to the site during the early hours of last Sunday when stabilising rings around one of the towers fell to the ground.

“These rings had been fitted as an additional safety feature almost 20 years prior. Part of the N2 was temporarily closed while structural engineers assessed the damage and risk to passing traffic,” says the city in a statement.

The city says a report from engineers has been studied and it has been decided to proceed with demolition of the two cooling towers.

Alderman Justus says the City has since received a report from the consulting and structural engineers.

“The report has been studied and it has been decided to proceed with the demolition of the two cooling towers as soon as possible,” Justus says.

The towers are considered to pose safety risks as it is possible that one or both of the towers could collapse in high winds.

The city says it is thus strongly recommended that both towers be demolished before winter’s North Westerly winds start to blow.

However public participation will be facilitated as the towers have become sentimental to city residents and are affectionately known as, ‘The two ladies of Athlone’.

The demolition will be commissioned through the City’s Supply Chain Management Department in conjunction with the Electricity Department.

Alderman Justus says that a detailed plan involving all Traffic and Emergency Services is being prepared, and surrounding roads including the N2 and Jan Smuts Drive are likely to be closed for a short period during the actual demolition.

The demolition is planned to be completed before the FIFA 2010 World Cup begins.

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