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August 19, 2010

Athlone cooling towers demolition: Road closures and viewing points

athlone cooling towers

The Athlone cooling towers. Photo courtesy Wayan Vota

The two 80-metre-high Athlone cooling towers, which are located next to the N2 freeway in the Pinelands area of Cape Town, will be demolished at noon on Sunday, August 22. As a result, the N2 between Black River Parkway and Vanguard Drive will be closed from 11h00 until 13h00.

Anyone travelling between Cape Town International Airport and the city centre needs to bear in mind that they will be diverted and should allow a lot more time for travel than usual.

According to the City of Cape Town website: “Motorists leaving the city centre are advised to use the N1 instead of the N2. Officers will redirect motorists traveling on the N2 outbound onto the M5 north, from which point they can access the N1 and travel back to the N2 via Vanguard Drive.

“Officers from the city’s Law Enforcement Services, Metro Police, city and provincial Traffic Services as well as the South African Police Force (SAPF) will be deployed to ensure public safety, enforce road closures and traffic rules, and redirect motorists to alternative routes.”

The website states that between 11h00 and 14h00, all trains on the Kapteinsklip Line will be rerouted to operate via the Maitland link between Salt River and Mutua. Read more advice from the City of Cape Town website and consult Cape Town Tourism’s maps and info page.

There will be a 300-metre exclusion zone around the towers into which no members of the public will be allowed. Police will not allow motorists to stop on nearby roads or bridges.

The City of Cape Town will allow a maximum of 4 000 people access to the Clyde Pinelands soccer field to watch the demolition free of charge, but will close the area once capacity is reached.

Other suggested viewing points include the top of Table Mountain (accessed via Table Mountain Cableway), Table Mountain National Park, Rhodes Memorial and the University Of Cape Town.

Work on these towers began in the late 1950s, but after concrete stabilising rings fell from one of the towers in February of this year, engineers felt it safest if they were demolished.

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