Road construction to stop during World Cup

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pretoria - The South African National Road Agency Limited (SANRAL) has assured motorists and soccer fans that construction on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Scheme will be halted during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"Come May 2010, there will no more construction, no more road closures and we will stop with blasting," said SANRAL's Chief Executive Officer Nazir Alli on Thursday.

Many major roads in the province have been affected by the construction, including the N1 between Pretoria and Johannesburg, the N3 between Johannesburg North and East and the R21 between Pretoria and OR Tambo International Airport.

Road lane closures and blasting have further lead to congestion and frustration by motorists.

A R22 billion Gauteng Freeway Improvement Scheme was launched in 2007 as part of infrastructure developments ahead of the World Cup as well as to address the increasing traffic volumes.

The aim is to upgrade the country'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.

SANRAL's mandate is to finance, improve, manage and maintain the national road network both toll and non-toll roads. As of end of 2008, SANRAL oversaw a network of 16 170 of roads throughout South Africa.