The Mercury

N2 roadworks to resume


CONSTRUCTI­ON is soon expected to restart in earnest on the N2 near Ballito to complete ongoing roadworks there after several months of stoppages at the site.

The SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) said it was looking to get constructi­on on site to complete the roadworks before the end of next year.

Sanral said yesterday that the procuremen­t of constructi­on tenders for the completion of roadworks between Ballito and Stanger, on the KwaZuluNat­al North Coast, had started.

Work originally began in February 2016 for localised realignmen­t of the N2 at the Umhlali River and Umvoti River bridges, but then constructi­on stopped.

Sanral said this was because the main contractor was facing liquidatio­n. The stoppage has left motorists angry and frustrated, having to contend with sections of the N2 being narrowed to a single lane for almost four years.

Ridhwaan Mahomed, Sanral’s Eastern region project manager, said that after the contract had been terminated with the original contractor, they tried for months to appoint a new contractor as well as ensuring continuity regarding technical supervisio­n.

He said that without approval from the National Treasury it was impossible for Sanral to proceed and appoint a new contractor to complete the work.

According to Mahomed, there were also issues around the sub-contractin­g of works in keeping with national policies on economic transforma­tion, which had delayed all projects being undertaken by Sanral.

“We’ve only recently been given the approval to go ahead using the same supervisio­n consultant and procuring a new contractor. We hope to have a new contractor on site before the end of the year for a constructi­on duration of approximat­ely 10 months,” said Mahomed.

Four of the original contractor­s were invited to a tender briefing meeting and visited the site last Wednesday, with representa­tives from Sanral and the supervisin­g consulting engineer.

“These are all contractor­s graded by the Constructi­on Industry Developmen­t Board, who are well capable of completing this contract. Tenders will close in mid-September.

“An award to the successful contractor will then be made before year’s end,” he said.

One motorist said he drove past the road regularly as he went to Durban and Eshowe on weekends.

“You have to wait or ask other motorists to put you in that working lane. This causes a lot of traffic as there are also trucks, buses and lots of cars on the road.

“It doesn’t make sense why a big road like this hasn’t been fixed after this long,” said the motorist.

Mahomed apologised to motorists and said that while their irritation was understand­able, it must also be stressed that the delays in appointing a new contractor were not caused by Sanral.

“It was never Sanral’s intention for this work to be delayed for such a prolonged period,” he said.

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