Russell and Albany Roads
Hymans Kloof, now known as Russell Road, was a steep valley with a stream running down it. Many efforts were made to control the water that repeatedly destroyed efforts to build a road down the valley.
The earlier, official attempts started in 1863 when Russell Road was opened by Mrs William Smith, wife of the Mayor. It was named after Lord John Russell, the British Foreign Secretary at the time, and also twice Prime Minister. Land on either side of the former Hyman’s Kloof (or Burial
Kloof) was transferred to the Municipality and sold in July 1862 to pay for the new road. After this, the road was often reconstructed after damage caused by rain and floods.
Over the years and with technological advances, the surface of the road was raised and the stream contained in a drainage system under the surface.
Albany Road was originally a “kloof” with a stream running towards the sea.
Originally known as Cooper’s Kloof, after one of the first property owners in the valley, road construction was started in 1865. This work was undertaken to provide employment during the depression that was gripping the country and in July 1866 the Municipality was granted a large piece of land at the top of the Kloof to provide the funds for it. Stone removed during the work was used to build the wool market in Central.
* In September 1939 the City’s first automatic traffic signals were erected at the intersection of Russell Road, Queen, Griffin and Main Streets.
The traffic signals were highly successful and a second set was installed at the intersection of Albany and Westbourne Roads.