‘Early Christ­mas gift’ as R55 road re­opens

Pretoria News - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES MAHLOKWANE [email protected]

HONKS and ul­u­la­tions yes­ter­day greeted the re­open­ing of the R55 near Laudium, which had been closed for re­pairs to a 30m sink­hole.

MEC for Roads and Trans­port Dr Is­mail Vadi cut the rib­bon to mark the re­open­ing of the road.

He said the provin­cial gov­ern­ment wanted to give the peo­ple of Laudium an early Christ­mas present by re­open­ing the af­fected sec­tion to traf­fic.

He told his City coun­ter­part, MMC Sheila Lynn Senkubuge, ward coun­cil­lor Mo­hammed Es­sop, anti-crime and so­cial co­he­sion ac­tivist Yusuf Abram­jee and the com­mu­nity that the gov­ern­ment did not have a bud­get for the un­ex­pected sink­hole. None­the­less, it found R12 mil­lion to fix the road.

The sink­hole was one of many that popped up in var­i­ous parts of the city when it was awash with heavy rains in March. In some ar­eas, build­ings were af­fected and cars swept away by flash floods in low ly­ing ar­eas.

“To­day we have the plea­sure of re­open­ing the R55, which is Quagga Road, near Laudium. In March a mas­sive sink­hole formed be­cause of heavy rain. It was about 30m wide and prob­a­bly 6m deep, and one or two houses were dam­aged. Peo­ple are happy that in the past few months the geotech­ni­cal team has been able to re­ha­bil­i­tate it.”

Con­cerns about traf­fic con­ges­tion and ob­struc­tion on the busy provin­cial gov­ern­ment road prompted an ur­gent visit from Premier David Makhura and Ex­ec­u­tive Mayor Solly Msi­manga to as­sure the com­mu­nity that the gov­ern­ment would re­pair the road.

Un­for­tu­nately, Vadi said, sink­holes were very un­pre­dictable and ex­perts had to wait and con­duct stud­ies to en­sure that by the time they started fill­ing it to ground level, it would not plunge again. He hoped there would not be an­other sink­hole on the R55.

Senkubuge and Es­sop thanked all con­trac­tors, sub­con­trac­tors and the com­mu­nity for work­ing to­gether to en­sure the road re­opened be­fore Christ­mas.

OUPA MOKOENA African News Agency (ANA)

MEC for Roads and Trans­port Dr Is­mail Vadi re­opens the R55, which had been closed be­cause of a mas­sive sink­hole. |

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