01 September 2009

Waiting for the grass ... and BRT

WITH the Nelson Mandela Bay 2010 Stadium complete, the focus now falls on the earthworks around it, including work on the Bus Rapid Transit system in Fettes Road, south of the stadium.

A visit to the site revealed that the landscaping around the stadium is forging ahead, with reed-like grasses planted on several of the steeper slopes, while in other areas, particularly on the east side along Alfred Road, grass-planting among the many trees should start soon.

Remember this was once Prince Alfred's Park, a green lung next to North End Lake, so it is imperative as much of it as possible be restored to parkland.

We also found that, thanks to a deal struck between the taxi associations and the municipality, work on the BRT is going well. Indeed, Govan Mbeki Avenue and Kempson Road we found were a hive of activity.

A visit to the Newton Park indoor swimming pool showed it too is nearing completion. We hope at some point to get inside to see whether the pool itself has been upgraded as part of its conversion to an indoor facility. Work is also under way on the exterior buildings, including the old changing rooms.

But let's let the pictures do the talking.

A barren wasteland on the southern side of the stadium along Fettes Road is being landscaped.

Reed-like grass has been planted on the slopes next to the stadium on the eastern side along Alfred Road, while the flat area between the surviving trees is awaiting grass.

More of the trees - mainly palms - on the Alfred Road side.

On the lake side of the stadium there is much landscaping activity under way.

This is on the corner of Fettes Road and the lake, where things are starting to take shape nicely.

Pallisade fencing is going up around the entire stadium. Here is the Milner Avenue corner to the north-west of the stadium.

We have been fascinated by this old carpet which somehow found its way into the top branches of this grand old tree, which fortunately survived the chop. Note the pallisade fencing around it. The stadium is to the right, not visible in this picture.

All the buzz is about BRT, and in Fettes Road, to the south-west of the stadium, much progress is to be seen.

Another view of the Fettes Road upgrade.

Further afield, BRT work is going on rapidly. The buses will run in designated lanes in the middle of the road. This is Govan Mbeki Avenue quite near the stadium.

Another view of BRT work in Govan Mbeki.

The old Newton Park swimming pool is barely recognisable as construction nears completion of its conversion to an indoor heated pool.

Integration of the old stadium has worked well.

Another view of the interesting roof at the Newton Park pool. The old outbuildings in the foreground also seem to be undergoing refurbishment.

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