By Suren Naidoo
A new bridge over the Berg River was opened by the Executive Mayor of the Drakenstein Municipality, Conrad Poole, last week at the luxurious Val de Vie Estate in Paarl. Developed at a cost of around R100 million, it will improve access and represents a major infrastructure investment in the award-winning Western Cape estate.
In a statement on the opening of the bridge on Val de Vie’s website, Martin Venter, Founder and CEO of the estate said: “Building a bridge is symbolic of human progress. We are proud to open the Berg River Bridge and believe that this addition to our Estate is not only to the benefit of our residents, but in favour of our entire community.”
The new Berg River Bridge connects Val de Vie Estate with the R45 Simondium Road via the new Berg River gatehouse, introducing a mere 30-minute travelling time to Cape Town International Airport and Cape Town, 16 minutes to Stellenbosch and 3 minutes to Paarl Main Road.
Ryk Neethling, Val de Vie Estate Marketing Director and Shareholder, said: “The opening of the Berg River Bridge is a remarkable event for Val de Vie Estate and is the first private bridge of this scale in South Africa. Drastically reducing the travelling time to Cape Town International Airport, the Mother City and adjacent Stellenbosch was the main drive behind the project which cost the development company over R100 million.”
Neethling added: “Val de Vie Estate has significantly contributed to the economic development in Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch areas since its inception, and the valuable addition of the new Berg River Bridge will further positively influence this rapidly growing sector of our country… We foresee that the demand and value of properties on the greater Val de Vie Estate will certainly be influenced by the opening of our new bridge, and that the last remaining developer stands will sell out fast.”
Mayor Poole expressed his gratitude towards Val de Vie Estate for investing in the infrastructure of the municipality. He said: “Drakenstein Municipality is one of the fastest growing and financially sound municipalities in South Africa, and our Valley is well on its way to becoming world class.”
BERG RIVER BRIDGE FACTS:
* The new Berg River Bridge is 400 metres long, with the roads on either side totalling 1.2 kilometres.
* It took two years for the construction to be completed, and cost roughly R100 million.
* Boogertman + Partners Architects designed the Berg River Bridge.
* NMC Construction was the initial construction company, but after facing financial difficulty, Umzali Civils took over the project in January 2018.