Critical road projects taking shape
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.