Speaking at the meeting, Ward 117 councillor Tim Truluck expressed his gratitude and excitement about the project. “It’s been a long time coming, I am happy that the City has realised this is needed,” he said.
Truluck explained that the parking deck was part of the upgrade of the Zoo Lake precinct to modernise the zoo.
“It’s a very positive thing for the area,” Truluck added.
Members of Forest Town Rate Payers’ Association were also excited about the upgrade and said they were looking forward to the end product.
Frank Haupt, an engineer working on the project, explained that the upgrade was a good balance of aesthetics and economics.
“Although I am not an expert on building and design, this was designed by an award-winning architect. Looking at the budget, the design to me is good value for money and extremely practical,” he said.
Shawn Naidoo, Project Management, Johannesburg City Parks and Johannesburg Zoo explained that the entire project would cost approximately R69 million.
“The construction is divided into three phases, phase one consists of the construction of piles and ramps, phase two involves parking floors and ground floor rehabilitation, and finally phase three will involve beautifying, which is dependent on the completion of the project,” he explained.
Naidoo added that the noisiest part of the project would be in phase one and would take approximately three weeks.
The construction is expected to start in April and take approximately 30 months to complete. Residents and zoo visitors are urged to use alternative entrances during construction.
According to Naidoo, alternative parking areas have already been confirmed and plans were in place to alert visitors and residents of alternative parking spaces.
“So far we can confirm that three parking areas will be available,” he said.
Naidoo also confirmed that on completion of the Zoo parking deck it would be able to accommodate 700 cars. “This is more than enough space, as the current parking area can only accommodate about 100 cars,” he explained.
The aim of the parking deck is to get cars off the pavement which is the current situation, Naidoo explained.
“The project is good to go and the documents have already been evaluated by engineers.”
According to residents, City Parks has promised to keep the existing mature trees and replant them in the third phase.
Gareth Devine, Zoo liaison, explained that he was in favour of the parking, “We totally support the upgrade and know that we desperately needed it,” he said.