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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Huguenot Tunnel Reopens to Traffic as Wind Subsides

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The Huguenot Tunnel has been reopened to all vehicle classes in both directions on Monday, the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (Sanral) said.

This follows the temporary closure of the tunnel at the weekend due to strong winds on the viaduct (long bridge-like structure) leading to and from the tunnel.

At the weekend, the South African Weather Service (Saws) issued a level 9 warning in the Western Cape.

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The province has been hit by strong winds, torrential rains, and lightning and thunderstorms.

Sanral’s Project Manager for the Huguenot Tunnel, Mike Vinello-Lippert said despite the continued windy conditions, emergency services were able to recover a blown-over vehicle on the viaduct which was obstructing traffic.

Amid high wind speeds and wind gusts with speeds over 90km/h, a truck lost its load when the wind blew the trailer component off the viaduct and into the valley below.

Read | Trucker suffers stroke, dies while driving near Huguenot tunnel

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Fortunately the driver managed to exit the vehicle in time and was unharmed.

Strong winds hampered recovery operations of another blown-over vehicle on the viaduct and the tunnel was closed to all traffic until the obstruction on the viaduct had been recovered.

“Late on Sunday night, the tunnel was opened to light motor vehicles only, and by this morning we were able to open to all vehicle classes. We wish to express our gratitude to all emergency and law enforcement teams who worked tirelessly to ensure we get traffic moving again,” Vinello-Lippert said.

Sanral appeals to all road users to exercise extreme caution as wet and windy conditions prevail across the Western Cape.

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