Nearly 40 years after its construction was abandoned, a plan has finally been made for the unfinished Foreshore bridge that runs from Helen Suzman Boulevard in Green Point.
The flyover road was originally conceptualised and designed in the late 1960s as a way to relieve the traffic congestion which city planners believed might be a problem in future. Construction began in the early 1970s but was brought to an abrupt halt in 1977 with no clear explanation given at the time. Urban legend has it that an error in the design meant that the two ends would not meet up correctly, but the official response – eventually – was that the city’s tight budget could not justify the bridge’s completion at a time when existing congestion was not a huge problem.
Clearly visible on Google Earth, the bridge has since become a local landmark and a popular movie location.
In 2014 approximately 200 design students exhibited proposals for what to do with the bridge. Ideas included planting trees on the overpass, turning it into a roller coaster or skate park, creating a street arcade below and even a memorial garden for the dead. See the video below for one of these ideas.
Last week, however, a solution was finally announced. In the year that Cape Town is reported by TomTom Traffic Index to be the most congested city in South Africa for the third year running, the decision has been made that the bridge will become…. a road, connecting to the N1 route which runs out of Cape Town on the road to Paarl, with an aim to relieve traffic congestion.