N2 dou­bling up­grades well un­der way

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO BUSINESS - Gugu Myeni

THE dou­bling of the N2 between Mtun­zini

Toll Plaza and the Em­pan­geni In­ter­change is on track to be com­pleted at the end of June 2019.

Within weeks, the north-bound traf­fic will be di­verted onto the newly-con­structed car­riage­way just after the Mtun­zini toll plaza and di­verted back to the ex­ist­ing car­riage­way just be­fore the Esikhaleni in­ter­change.

Project Man­ager at South African Na­tional Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SAN­RAL) Eastern Re­gion, Corné Roux said this will al­low the start of the up­grad­ing of the ex­ist­ing road, the fu­ture south-bound car­riage­way ad­ja­cent to the newly-con­structed sec­tion.

‘Work is progressing well de­spite the chal­lenges posed by the 60 me­tre deep piles and dif­fi­cult pil­ing con­di­tions at the Mh­lathuze and Umlalazi river bridges as well as high rain­fall ex­pe­ri­enced.

‘Once the project is com­pleted, the agri­cul­tural over­passes over the N2 would have been length­ened, new bridges would have been built at the R34 Em­pan­geni and Richards Bay in­ter­change and at the P537 Port Durn­ford un­der­pass.

‘Two road-over-rail bridges would have been con­structed and 16 ma­jor box cul­verts and numer­ous mi­nor box cul­verts and other drainage struc­tures would also have been built.

‘In ad­di­tion, the height of two over­passes would have been in­creased by jack­ing up the bridges,’ Roux said.

Job cre­ation

The en­gi­neers on the project, UWP Con­sult­ing said the struc­tures are largely com­plete, with only the deck of the Em­pan­geni road-over-rail bridge still to be cast.

Roux said since the start of the con­tract 37 sub­con­trac­tors have been em­ployed by the main con­trac­tor, Con­cor In­fra­struc­ture of which 23 have been Small, Medium & Mi­cro En­ter­prise Busi­nesses (SMMEs), who have been paid R76-mil­lion.

‘A max­i­mum of 541 peo­ple have been em­ployed at any one time, with 428 com­ing from within the lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal tar­get ar­eas.’

This R946-mil­lion project is one of the big­gest road in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ments be­ing un­der­taken by SAN­RAL in KZN and is aimed at cop­ing with the in­creased traf­fic vol­umes on one of the coun­try’s key ar­te­rial roads.

Roux said the cur­rent traf­fic vol­umes on the N2 south of Em­pan­geni ex­ceed 12 000 ve­hi­cles per day with the high­est traf­fic vol­umes oc­cur­ring on the sec­tion between the Esikhaleni and Em­pan­geni in­ter­changes.

Em­pan­geni in­ter­change bridge

Slip­form­ing a sec­tion of the me­dian drain

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