Gauteng's road works to be completed by April 2010

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Johannesburg - Major road works taking place on Gauteng's highways and other busy arterial routes are due to be completed by April next year.

"The first part of the work should be completed by April 2010," South African National Roads Limited (SANRAL) manager Alex van Niekerk told BuaNews on Wednesday.

He urged motorists, who were becoming impatient with the constant traffic jams as a result of the road works, to be patient as the current situation would pay off in the end.

The R22-billion Gauteng Freeway Improvement Scheme was launched in 2007 as part of infrastructure developments ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa as well as to address the increasing traffic volumes.

The scheme aims to upgrade the province's freeways by increasing lanes and making provision for public transport vehicles, such as dedicated lanes for public transport vehicles and vehicles with three or more passengers.

Mr van Niekerk said much progress was being made on the N1 north and south and at busy spots such as William Nicol drive, Rivonia, Alandale and Lynwood.

"As you can see, we are very busy. We are constructing additional lanes, building new freeways and very soon the traffic will improve," Mr van Niekerk said.

He explained that SANRAL approached the then Minister of Transport Jeff Radebe in 2005 for the development of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Programme. "We realised that congestion has far reaching social, environmental and economic implications," Mr Van Niekerk said.

He said between 2004 and 2005, there was a seven percent increase in Gauteng traffic volumes, with that doubling by 2008.

The second phase of the programme, which involves building new infrastructure, will be completed between 2010 and 2020.

Mr van Niekerk was among the delegates at the third annual Africa Roads Conference, currently underway in Johannesburg. The conference aims at coming up with ways to improve Africa's road network for future economic development and trade.