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News Room

Cape Town’s Unfinished Highway Set To Receive a Facelift

Sherryn de Vos
The infamous unfinished highway in Cape Town will be getting a revamp. These are the six proposals for the new look!
The unfinished highway has been a mark on the city's face since 1977 when the city ran out of money to complete it. Rumours have since swirled that due to a miscalculation, the bridge wouldn’t link up. Since then, the bridge has been used for film and advert shoots, the famous, giant Vuvuzela - during the 2010 World Cup - and has been an icon of the city. This will soon change, however, as the city has requested proposals for a facelift of Cape Town as a whole. Six proposals have been chosen to be considered by the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID).  Cape Town Mayor, Patricia De Lille, stated in 2016 that she wants her legacy to include the finishing of the highway. We take a look at the six proposals. Which one would you choose? Let us know in the comment section below.

1. An Elevated Green Space

This proposal wants to make use of the existing bridge as a public urban park. It will then create 4 000 affordable residential units and a list of other facilities to meet the cities current challenges. These include:
  • Eight green spaces;
  • Nine urban squares;
  • A school;
  • A medical centre and clinic;
  • A counselling centre;
  • Three community halls and centres,
  • 17 new inner-city leisure and sports fields
This will be created by 15 major changes.
  • Removal of the Foreshore Freeway;
  • Addressing the current congestion issues;
  • Enhancing the existing MyCiTi Stations, as well as implementing two new stations;
  • Developing parking spaces in Durbanville;
  • Promoting cycling with routes to support it;
  • Creating express stations;
  • Creating attractive walking routes;
  • Building of park-and-ride stations, which will be able to accommodate 2 000 cars;
  • Building an inclusive city by releasing land and removing the bridge which will, in turn, create a neighbourhood that will accommodate 15 000 people;
  • Designing open spaces with amenities and leisure spots;
  • Relocating public facilities and creating new ones and designing new urban parks.

2. A Giant Ring

This proposal suggests a brand new icon building for the city. A giant ring will be installed and a network of 'podcars' will be created as an alternative transport system. Using solar energy, the podcars will hold eight people each and run on certain routes. It proposes Sea Point railway, harbour, Signal Hill, Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront, and Mouille Point routes. Other alterations will include:
  • Tunnels for the freeway;
  • Transport modal interchanges;
  • Creating up to 15 800 square metres of public space;
  • 400 000 square metres of residential housing, which can be translated into 4 400 housing units, 1 000 of which are for the affordable housing markets;
  • 95 000 square metres of commercial space;
  • 20 000 square metres of retail;
  • 12 000 parking spaces;
  • Social and educational facilities, and a public art program.
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3. A Sustainable City

This proposal included the completion of the highway to relieve the traffic bottlenecking. The vision for this one is to create a full harbour experience with an urban activity ribbon along the full front of the harbour. It will include:
  • Networks and routes for public transport;
  • MyCiTi bus integration, pedestrian, and cycling networks;
  • Converting the current freeway into a boardwalk;
  • Developing an eco-friendly, inclusive housing project with green landscaped courtyards, parking hubs, and waterfront views.

4. Reclaiming The Foreshore

This will look at opening up the Foreshore as the city for the people, by linking the city to the foreshore. It will include:
  • A Foreshore park;
  • Linking Founders Gardens site to the Civic Centre Cape Town station and the MyCiTi service to the Foreshore and inner-city districts of Cape Town;
  • Increased affordable housing and mixed-use developments;
  • A smart city development, which is environmentally friendly as well as sustainable.


This includes a total facelift of the whole city and incorporates some major changes.
  • Dropping the freeway to the ground;
  • Lifting the city above the freeways;
  • A binding element of a park linking the bottom movement and upper city life;
  • Four lane roads on the lower level with CiTi transport lanes;
  • Multi-modal inner-city public transport loop system;
  • A new link for the N1 / N2 to the V&A Waterfront via Duncan Road;
  • A pedestrian mall linking harbour side with Founders Gardens, Artscape, and the Civic Centre Station, and the parade;
  • One million square meters of development with another million created by the added layers;
  • Affordable housing for half of the development;
  • An extended promenade from Sea Point to Milnerton.

6. Bringing People Back Into The City

This proposal looks to take the ordinary Cape Tonian into consideration:
  • Create affordable housing with over 450 units;
  • Turn city wastelands into roads;
  • Finish the freeways and alleviate the traffic crisis.

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