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April this year saw the Grasko Gorge Lift Company breaking ground on its 51-metre glass elevator, part of the construction of the R40 million Graskop Gorge Adventure Centre. When completed, the glass elevator will offer a 360-degree view of the gorge, waterfall, trees, birds and sky. The centre will incorporate a restaurant, bar and shops at the top of the gorge, a children’s play area and lookout points.

This month saw work start on the first section of the lift base with the “big pour” of 60 cubic metres or 160 tons of concrete. The second section was completed a few days later, according to a statement issued by the company.

Artistic impression of Graskop Gorge lift

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. In order to achieve that, 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 Lafarge South Africa lined up to offload one after the other, and the whole process took several hours to complete, the company says.

An elevated forest walkway will be built at the bottom of the gorge. It will have two suspension bridges that cross the river and will include interpretation boards. Once completed, the elevator will transport visitors to the bottom of the gorge where the elevated walkway and suspension bridges will allow visitors to explore the rivers and forest.

Situated one kilometre out of Graskop, at the Graskop Gorge, on the R533 towards Hazyview, the development is an engineering first for South Africa. The completed Graskop Gorge Adventure Centre will have a restaurant and bar, a kiddies play area, shops and a specially-designed area for local craftspeople.

The Centre is expected to be open in time for the festive season at the end of the year.

Artistic 3D presentation of the Graskop Gorge Lift Company due to be launched end of 2017.

 

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