Repairs to flood-hit N2 in KZN to take between six to eight months
10TH MAY 2022
BY: DONNA SLATER
CREAMER MEDIA CONTRIBUTING EDITOR AND PHOTOGRAPHER
ARTICLE ENQUIRY SAVE THIS ARTICLE EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
FONT SIZE: -+
The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) reports that work to fix Section 24 of the National Route 2 (N2) Northbound carriageway between Umzinto and Umgababa, in KwaZulu-Natal, which was closed as a result of severe flooding in April, is set to take between six and eight months.
“This resulted in a serious safety issue hence the closure of this section. As a short-term measure, traffic is deviated to the provincial network to the R197 and R102,” he says.
Speaking during the walkabout on the N2 recently, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said the national department and KwaZulu-Natal provincial government would contribute R5-billion towards the repairs on the road infrastructure in the province.
“On April 18, on declaring the National State of Disaster, President Ramaphosa designated Sanral as the lead agency to lead the extensive work required to repair roads in the province, starting with an immediate focus on the N2 and N3 freeways,” said Mbalula.
Since then, he says, Sanral has worked with the provincial and municipal authorities in KwaZulu-Natal to advance the rebuilding and rehabilitation work required to restore normality to the lives of the people in the province.
To get return vehicular traffic to the reconstructed section of the N2, a temporary lane is being built to get the northbound carriageway reopened. This will assist in further investigations and getting contractors onto the site to start the construction by the end of May.
“When the contractors get on site, they will remove the sunken part of the road and work from bottom up to the top. Generally, these contracts take between 12 and 15 months but we will have an accelerated programme to try and finish in as short as possible a time period,” says Ronny.
As a result of the work between Sanral and the provincial government, a consolidated list of affected infrastructure has been compiled and further assessment on the field is still being undertaken by the Sanral team of engineers. This has enabled Sanral and the KwaZulu-Natal government to prioritise repairs to road infrastructure where communities were completely cut off and others forced to use the national roads for which they incurred costs.
“Following the declaration of the state of national disaster, I made a request to the Sanral board to consider suspending toll fees in seriously affected communities. The board took a resolution to suspend the payment of toll fees at the oThongathi and Mvoti plazas on the N2 toll route,” says Mbalula.
He notes that this suspension, at a cost of about R400-million over the 18-month period, is meant to assist communities affected by the closure of alternative routes damaged by the floods