Ma­jor N2 bridge project put on hold

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO BUSINESS - Tam­lyn Jolly

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

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