Traffic congestions can be a nightmare, especially when travelling over long distances and one is forced to stop at every city or town along the way.
The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (Sanral) said in a media release that one way of managing this challenge is to provide an alternative route allowing vehicles to travel around the city or town where traffic can flow without any interruptions and at normal highway speeds, known as a ring road.
Of local interest is the construction of two ring roads around the Polokwane and Musina CBDs.
Polokwane Ring Road
Sanral’s project manager Alan Agaienz believes that the construction of the new ring road will serve to ease congestion in the city centre by taking through traffic around the city.
A revised budget of R700 million was allocated for the project over 20 months. The project has been delayed by about five months due to financial constraints suffered by the main contractor. Basil Read Limited was placed under business rescue earlier this year and the work had to be stopped. However, work on a limited scale recommenced on 27 September 2018 following a resolution of creditors not to liquidate the company.
According to Sanral, the scope of project includes the improvement of the existing 80 km/h geometric alignment to comply with the 100 km/h design requirements. Two existing at-grade intersections at the R37/N1 and Silicon/N1 intersection were upgraded to grade-separated interchanges to improve traffic flow and safety. It also included an upgrade from a two-lane (one-lane per direction) single carriageway to a four-lane (two-lanes per direction) dual carriageway to improve traffic capacity and safety. Construction is expected to resume during January next year.
Musina Ring Road
According to Sanral, some 1 000 heavy vehicles per day use the N1 through Musina and have to pass through the CBD. It creates a major congestion in town as well as conflict with local traffic and pedestrians and damage to infrastructure is inevitable. The contract for the construction of the road, with a value of R506 million, was awarded to Basil Read Limited during 2015 and construction commenced in April 2016. The project is earmarked to be completed by mid-2020 if there are no delays.
Story: BARRY VILJOEN