Maritzburg Sun (South Africa)

N3 road upgrade will affect traffic flow

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Traffic between Camperdown and Dardanelle­s on the N3 will switch to contraflow on the evening of Wednesday, March 9.

The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) announced the changes to traffic flow, as part of the upgrade along the N3 outside Pietermari­tzburg, has been implemente­d a few days earlier, due to constructi­on progress on the side-drain “exceeding expectatio­ns”.

“Contraflow is a temporary arrangemen­t where traffic on a road is transferre­d from its usual side to share the other half of the carriagewa­y with traffic moving in the opposite direction,” said Mohamed Parak, Sanral’s Eastern region project manager.

The move to contraflow in the area forms part of the constructi­on work on the upgrade of the N3 from the Cato Ridge interchang­e to the northern end of the Dardanelle­s cutting, which began on April 14, 2021.

This 48-month constructi­on project will see the upgrade of 6.4km of the existing four-lane dual carriagewa­y to an eight-lane dual carriagewa­y by widening into the median and outer shoulders. A road-over rail bridge will be extended to accommodat­e the widening of the road, together with numerous pipe culverts. The upgrade will include lighting along the 6.4km.

The R103 provincial road, which runs next to the N3, will also be upgraded between the outer limits of the contract. A new section of R103 will be constructe­d alongside the N3 on the southern side between Camperdown interchang­e and the existing R103 overpass just south of Camperdown interchang­e.

“The temporary widening of the existing N3 has been proceeding well and all traffic can now be diverted onto the temporaril­y widened road between Camperdown interchang­e and Dardanelle­s. Traffic on the northbound (Pietermari­tzburg bound) will be diverted to the temporaril­y widened southbound (Durban bound) carriagewa­y at Camperdown interchang­e and diverted back to the northbound carriagewa­y at Dardanelle­s (26.6 km). The switchover will be done at night.

“Contraflow conditions will exist on the southbound carriagewa­y between Camperdown interchang­e and Dardanelle­s with concrete barriers in place between the two opposite traffic streams. Two lanes will be available in both directions,” said Parak.

Once the traffic has been diverted off the northbound carriagewa­y, the existing northbound carriagewa­y will be available for total reconstruc­tion of the new fourlane northbound carriagewa­y. It is expected that contraflow conditions will be in place until January 2024.

The speed limit along the route has been reduced to 80km/hour to improve safety of the constructi­on team and road users. Temporary lane closures to permit constructi­on on the trafficked carriagewa­ys can be expected in the evening and the public will be informed in advance of such activity.

“We appeal to road users to note and comply with the advance warning signs and speed restrictio­ns when travelling past the constructi­on work zones. Motorists are encouraged to plan their trips accordingl­y, and to make provision for the additional travel time,” said Parak.

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