Pedestrian bridge built for Joburg community

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pretoria - Residents of Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg, will no longer have to face the real danger of being knocked down by speeding vehicles while crossing the busy N1 highway.

Approximately 1 085 pedestrians cross the section of the highway at Orange Farm on a daily basis, which is highly dangerous and fatal in some cases.

According to the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL), the bridge follows consultations with the community residing adjacent to the road with the view of finding appropriate solutions to specific pedestrian needs. In this case, the community needed a pedestrian bridge.

The bridge, which is aesthetically pleasing and expected to become an iconic focal point for the community and future generations, also accommodates bicycles or wheelbarrows which are frequently seen crossing the road.

The bridge is also wheelchair-friendly, as people with disabilities can make use of ramps on each side, although shallow stairs have also been incorporated into the structure.

SANRAL Chief Executive Officer, Nazir Alli said while the Orange Farm Pedestrian Bridge ensured a safer route across the freeway, road safety is everyone's responsibility.

"The road environment must be used in a responsible manner, with due regard as it is a known fact that road user behaviour plays a significant role in accidents rates."