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Construction of the ‘Great Walk’ Bridge commences

The construction of the iconic multimillion rand overhead pedestrian and cycling bridge along Grayston Drive linking Alexandra and Sandton – dubbed the “Great Walk” – will commence later this month.
This was announced at a sod-turning ceremony attended by three Members of the Mayoral Committee – Councillor Christine Walters (Transport), Councillor Roslyn Greeff (Development Planning and Urban Management) and Councillor Sello Lemao (Public Safety) – in Sandton yesterday.
The bridge forms part of the Rea Vaya Phase 1C infrastructure development project and the Louis Botha Corridor. It is also part of a 5km dedicated cycling and walking lane stretching from No 3 Square in the heart of Alexandra to the corner of Maud and 5th streets in heart of Sandton.
Speaking at the ceremony, MMC Walters said the project was aimed at giving a new experience to walking and cycling and transforming the public transportation system in the northeast of the city.
“A transport study revealed that as many as 10 000 pedestrians walk and cycle between Alexandra and Sandton each day. This bridge and the surrounding infrastructure are going to transform and unite these areas. The bridge, which will be styled along the same lines as the Nelson Mandela Bridge in the Johannesburg inner city, literally bridges the divide between these two contrasting communities and creates a visual gateway into the economic heartbeat of our city,” the MMC.
The construction of the bridge will be spearheaded by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), the City of Johannesburg’s infrastructure development entity.
MMC Greeff said construction was expected to be completed by October next year.
“To ensure universal access, the pedestrian walkway will have no steps or similar barriers,” she said.
The MMC said this and other Rea Vaya projects all formed part of the Corridors of Freedom, the City’s new spatial initiative aimed at “re-stitching” Johannesburg through the creation of concentrated developments along key corridors.
The project will create 40 employment opportunities and 10 jobs to maintain the bridge. 
The bridge – which will be equipped with three-metre-wide dedicated cycle and pedestrian walkways with protective barriers, benches, landscaped areas and artwork by local artists – was designed by Royal Haskoning DHV. Construction will be undertaken by Murray & Roberts. 
MMC Lemao said the project served as a reminder of how transport and the rethinking of transport infrastructure were transforming the city.
“The Corridors of Freedom are no longer just a dream; they’re becoming a reality and are indicative of the City of Johannesburg’s commitment to transforming the city to one that is sustainable, liveable and economically vibrant. We’re beginning to see the creation of a tailor made City, one that we desire in our lifetime,” said MMC Lemao.