Bridge over trou­bled traf­fic eases con­ges­tion

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - Hlengiwe Ngob­ese

the com­ple­tion of one of the long­est struc­tures ever built in South Africa means morn­ing com­muters be­tween Umh­langa and the KwaZulu-Natal north coast no longer have to en­dure traf­fic con­ges­tion.

Jointly funded by the South African Na­tional Roads Agency SOC Ltd (San­ral) and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) De­part­ment of Trans­port the con­struc­tion was the task of the South African branch of Ital­ian con­struc­tion com­pany CMC di Ravenna.

The kilo­me­tre-long bridge one of the long­est struc­tures ever built in South Africa - is part of the im­prove­ments San­ral is mak­ing at the N2 (M41) Mt Edge­combe In­ter­change to the north of Dur­ban. The bridge con­nects Phoenix and Umh­langa with Dur­ban and the North Coast of KZN.

The Mt Edge­combe In­ter­change up­grade has changed the land­scape for­ever. The new four-level in­ter­change fa­cil­ity pro­vides at least two lanes on each of the ma­jor move­ments. The up­grade in­cludes the im­ple­men­ta­tion of di­rec­tional ramps, elim­i­nat­ing the need for con­trolled signalling, thus en­sur­ing the free flow of traf­fic in all direc­tions.

San­ral East­ern Re­gion project man­ager Corné Roux said the iconic Mt Edge­combe In­ter­change is a vi­tal artery of the greater eThek­wini metropoli­tan high­way sys­tem for eas­ing traf­fic and is also a sig­nif­i­cant busi­ness en­abler.

“An ad­di­tional 40 000 ve­hi­cles en­ter or leave the N2 from the M41 daily, which re­sulted in sub­stan­tial queu­ing of ve­hi­cles dur­ing the day. This, to­gether with ex­pected fu­ture ex­pan­sions and an­tic­i­pated de­vel­op­ment of the Cor­nu­bia area, re­quired the ex­ist­ing in­ter­change to be up­graded,” said Roux.

Water­loo res­i­dent Sicelo Mkhize said be­fore the com­ple­tion of the in­ter­change they were al­ways late for work.

“Now it takes me about 20 min­utes to get to Dur­ban. We are thank­ful to San­ral for mak­ing our lives eas­ier,” he said.

To pro­vide for the safety of pedes­tri­ans, a bridge has been con­structed over the N2. It will con­nect to new foot­ways. In ad­di­tion, light­ing will be in­stalled to en­sure the whole in­ter­change is lit at night for in­creased safety.

“Only one lane of the new ramp from Phoenix and Mt Edge­combe will be open to traf­fic to al­low for com­ple­tion of the con­struc­tion of a new ramp from the N2 north­bound tak­ing traf­fic to­wards the Gate­way shop­ping com­plex. The se­cond lane of the new ramp will be open by mid-April. Mo­torists are urged to pro­ceed with cau­tion and ad­here to speed lim­its,” Roux said.

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