Constructing the 51m viewing lift on Mpumalanga’s Panorama Route is an engineering first for South Africa and work is progressing well. It is estimated that the tourism node will be open in time for the festive season.
On Saturday, June 17, the big pour – of some 60 cubic metres or 160 tons of concrete – saw work start on the first section of the lift base.
The second section was completed a few days later.
“The concrete mixture had to be specifically formulated to maintain its consistency, and not separate during the 60m drop from the top of the cliff into the foundation,” says Campbell Scott, one of the developers.
Enza Construction designed a simple but effective pipe system that ran down the cliff and into which the concrete was poured.
“Nine cement trucks from the Lafarge South Africa lined up to offload one after the other. The whole process took several hours to complete and all in all, was a success,” says Scott.
Once completed, the lift will transport visitors to the bottom of the gorge and into a wonderland of unspoilt beauty, where elevated walkways and suspension bridges will allow visitors to explore the rivers and forest while learning more about their surroundings thanks to informative interpretation boards.
Situated one kilometre out of Graskop on the R533 towards Hazyview, the development will have a restaurant and bar with breath-taking views, a kiddies play area, shops and a specially-designed area for local craftspeople.
The development will give visitors a memorable, interactive experience and is a must for tour groups.
For further information, developers James Sheard can be contacted at 083 708 6106, Oupa Pilane at 082 371 8413 or Campbell Scott at 082 330 9997.
Visit the facebook site – @GraskopGorgeLiftCompany or website – http://www.graskopgorgeliftcompany.co.za/