Revamped road has community benefits
A NEW, wider road being built in the congested Mbizana-Port Edward corridor will bring down road fatalities.
Another signficant site, a treacherous road outside Willowvale, which horrifically claimed 35 lives, is also being rendered safe by roadworks.
On a positive note, tourists will soon be able to easily reach Wild Coast venues.
This is because of the work being done now by the Eastern Cape department of roads and public works.
Local workers and small businesses are also earning wages and making entrepreneurial progress valued at many millions because of these roadworks.
Here are summaries of two of the big projects the department is busy with now:
Upgrade of 79km of (district road) DR08005 and the R61 from Magusheni to Mzamba: The biggest town on this road is Mbizana. The department of roads and public works awarded two high-impact priority projects (HIPP) during April 2015. These projects are: ● Upgrading of DR08005 from Magusheni to Mzamba from the 50.5km mark to 59.5km and 67.7km mark to 78.7km; and
● Upgrading of DR08005 from Magusheni to Mzamba (R61) from the 13km mark to 33km and Phase 2, about 20km.
This 80km road will be worked upon in four phases, with phases one and two in progress. The road is an important economic and social link between the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
The extensive development of houses and businesses along the road provides access to a large number of schools, clinics and other social amenities.
The road was badly upgraded in 1985 and has deteriorated over the last five years.
Extensive social development alongside the road has seen a substantial increase in the number of fatal accidents. The new road will have an improved pavement and the road will have better horizontal and vertical alignment. It will also have extra hill-climbing traffic lanes along certain sections which will improve traffic flow.
The 20km of pedestrian sidewalks will improve safety, especially in areas close to Port Edward where there are a lot of people walking about.
Phase 2 involves building a permanent bypass around Mbizana which will alleviate traffic congestion in the town.
Consulting engineers HHO Africa Infrastructure and Ndodana Consulting Engineers are in a joint venture in the project while the contractor is Rumdel Construction Cape (Pty) Ltd.
The contract, valued at R508-million, started in April 2015, and will end on August 19 2017. So far R301-million has been spent. The project is 60% complete.
There have been 580 local people employed on the project and they earned a total of R26.4-million.
Local subcontractors and have earned R25.4-million.
SMMEs have also earned a total of R16million and R1.5-million was spent on payments to the community.
Upgrading of DR08029 Wild Coast Meander (Phase 2) Tombo to Isilimela Hospital (17km): This high-impact priority project (HIPP) was awarded in April 2015 and involves the design of 28km of gravel road to surfaced standard. The project forms part of the Wild Coast Meander route, which starts at Kei Mouth and ends at Tombo approximately 22km from Port St Johns. The department is implementing the project in three phases:
● Phase 1, Contract A: Construction of a bridge and rehabilitation and widening of two other structures on the DR08029 linking Tombo to Isilimela Hospital was completed in July; enterprises
● Phase 2, Contract B: Upgrading DR08029 from Tombo to Isilimela Hospital is in progress. This involves tarring 17km of gravel road from the R61 between Mthatha and Port St Johns, to just past the Isilimela Hospital. This project also falls under the province’s hospital roads upgrading programme; and
● Phase 3: Contract C: Further upgrades of the DR08029. This project is currently in detail design phase.
Phase 2, is being carried out by HHO Africa Infrastructure/Mott McDonald JV, who are using contractor Raubex Construction for a contract value of R222-million. The project started in May last year and finishes on November 15 next year.
So far R79-million has been spent and the project is 45% complete.
There have been 144 locals employed and altogether they were paid R5.3-million.