Resident says home damaged in N1 upgrade

MJ Van Driel from Mewaste.

A Boston resident Wendy Hodgkinson is not only tired of the constant noise from the ongoing roadworks on the N1, she also believes that the cracks in her house are as a result of the upgrades.

A livid Ms Hodgkinson said she noticed the cracks around her house in December 2016, more than 10 months after the start of the project to rehabilitate and expand the N1 between the R300 freeway and Plattekloof interchange.

She said she later contacted the provincial Department of Transport and Public Works to register her concerns. She claimed three surveyors were sent to her home.

Ms Hodgkinson said the surveyors told her they would submit a report to the department, but she had not had any feedback.

In February this year, she received a letter from Clyde and Co, a law firm, asking her to submit pictures and repair quotes for her home.

Ms Hodgkinson, who has lived in her Boston home for the past 13 years, said the cracks started when the upgrades began, and had since become bigger and deeper.

There are cracks in the lounge, bedrooms and on her granny flat.

She believes the cracks have been caused by the vibrations from the roadworks.

“You can be sitting in the lounge and you will feel the vibrations. We constantly have to keep an eye on our things as they would fall because of the vibrations,” she said. She said big trucks moved through Boston and along Durban Road daily. “It is worse now,” she said, adding that the upgrades were getting closer to her house.

Ms Hodgkinson said residents had to deal with the noise six days a week. She claimed they were not consulted before the upgrades. She said they planned to paint their home in 2016, but were forced to put their plans on hold.

In March, Northern News carried the story of Tygerberg Hills resident, Dave Petersen, who had been in a bitter battle with the department to have cracks to his home fixed (“Cracks not caused by upgrades”, Northern News, March 15)Damages to his home include a crack in his pool, a linear crack in the lounge floor, a vertical crack in the facebrick wall in the lounge, a crack at the top of the stairs and a crack in the guest-bathroom wall tiles. The department appointed a specialist engineer who found the roadworks were not to blame for the cracks, leaving Mr Petersen to pay for the repairs himself. .

Ms Hodgkinson had been in talks with Mr Petersen and does not believe the department’s claims that the cracks were a result of the drought.

Byron la Hoe, spokesman for the department, said they were waiting on a response from the project leader. “There is a process to follow with all of these claims and the contractor has been diligent in most cases. At the end of the process, the resident will be advised whether or not the claim has been successful.

“As the client, the department is not generally a party to these decisions or settlements until the claim has been resolved by the contractor. The legal liability of the claim rests with the contractor. However, in order to ensure that the interest of the public are being served, the contractor is required to report on third party claims received and their status in order to advise on possible measures to mitigate against future claims,” he said.