Crit­i­cal road projects tak­ing shape

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO BUSINESS - Tam­lyn Jolly

SANRAL is pro­gres­sively re­shap­ing the KZN land­scape with projects worth more than R21.6-bil­lion to im­prove road safety and con­ve­nience.

With much construction work hav­ing al­ready been car­ried out on the N2 north coast, in­clud­ing Mtu­batuba’s kwaBhoboza interchange at a cost of R242mil­lion, the Eteza Traf­fic Con­trol Cen­tre at a cost of R284-mil­lion, as well as work un­der­way to widen the free­way be­tween Em­pan­geni and Mtun­zini at a cost of R1-bil­lion, the roads agency ap­pears to be spar­ing no cost in up­grad­ing the prov­ince’s commuter net­works.

At a cost of R1.1-bil­lion, the Mount Edge­combe/uMh­langa interchange is fast near­ing com­ple­tion and boasts the long­est ramp in Africa at al­most 1km long.

An es­ti­mated R29-bil­lion has been set aside for the up­grad­ing of the N2 from Isipingo to Mhloti and the N3 from Dur­ban to Cedara.

‘Up­grad­ing of the N3 is es­sen­tial if one of govern­ment’s strate­gic in­te­grated projects link­ing the Port of Dur­ban with Gaut­eng is to suc­ceed,’ said SANRAL.

More than 40 mil­lion tonnes of freight per an­num is car­ried on the N3 cor­ri­dor, with about 9 000 heavy ve­hi­cles us­ing the route each day.

Ac­cord­ing to SANRAL Project Manager Koogan Pakkiri, the agency is in talks with Transnet Freight Rail to move the bulk of freight trans­port from road to rail.

Up­grades to the EB Cloete interchange, or spaghetti junc­tion, which links the N2 and N3 north of Dur­ban is an­other project in the pipe­line.

Part of a ma­jor commuter route, the interchange is a bot­tle­neck, with the sin­gle-lane link be­tween the N2 and N3 caus­ing se­vere de­lays.

The plan is to widen the sin­gle lane to at least a dou­ble lane by re­plac­ing the cen­tral col­umn to the tres­tle struc­ture with cable stays sup­ported from an arch struc­ture span­ning the en­tire interchange.

SANRAL’s pri­mary man­date is to man­age and con­trol the na­tional road net­work and take charge of the de­vel­op­ment, main­te­nance and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of na­tional roads.

The more than 22 000km road net­work is South Africa’s sin­gle big­gest pub­lic as­set and is crit­i­cal to the coun­try’s fu­ture eco­nomic and so­cial tra­jec­tory.

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