Major N2 bridge project put on hold
THE R57-million contract to realign the N2 at the uMhlali and uMvoti river bridges has been put on hold, owing to termination of the contract by SANRAL.
‘The safety of road users is paramount and will not be compromised through the use of sub-standard material or poorperforming service providers,’ said Ridhwaan Mahomed, SANRAL Eastern Region Project Manager.
The final decision to terminate the contract came about when the contractor filed for business rescue and was ultimately sequestrated.
A mere 27% of the project, which involves the flattening of sharp curves to reduce the number of accidents, had been completed and paid for.
For us to ensure that a reliable and resilient road has been constructed, quality control is of the utmost importance,’ said Mohamed.
‘SANRAL has to ensure that all construction activities are in compliance with the specifications as set out in the contract, to ensure construction is undertaken to the highest standards.’
He said the constructed pavement layer using the material from local suppliers did not meet the required specifications.
‘There are three probable reasons the pavement layer failed.
‘Firstly, the supplier may have supplied incorrect material; secondly, the contractor could have contaminated the material while processing and placing it on site; and thirdly, the material could have broken down during compaction of the layer.’
He said SANRAL attempted to assist the contractor with a revised pavement design to limit the contractor’s additional costs for removing and replacing the material.
It was late last year that the contractor was placed under business rescue, leading to SANRAL issuing a letter of termination.
National Treasury stipulated that SANRAL had to re-tender the entire project, further delaying the upgrades.
Mohamed said SANRAL hopes to have a new contractor on site by September.
‘Meanwhile, we humbly request all motorists to bear with us as we are trying our utmost to resolve the situation.’
Ridhwaan Mahomed - SANRAL Eastern Region Project Manager