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N1 upgrade outside Pretoria inspected

4 Sep 2012 11:27
A 14km stretch of the N1 highway between Pretoria and Johannesburg has deteriorated and is a safety risk, Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi says.
"Before the rehabilitation process, there were signs of considerable deterioration on the road," Vadi said in a statement this week.

"The highway had reached the end of its optimal functionality and posed a safety risk to motorists. The aim is to restore the riding quality and safety of the road for the very large number of road users."

The part of the road that needed fixing was the 14km stretch from Potgieter Street in Pretoria.

Vadi was inspecting the R114-million upgrade to the N1 highway.

Meanwhile, BDLive reports that engineers contracted to fill sinkholes under the Ben Schoeman Highway at Centurion say that at least two more sinkholes have been found near the Jean Avenue off-ramp.

The linked chambers in dolomitic rock cover an area of at least 90 metres by 15 m and may cost as much as R35-million to repair. Sanral drilled test holes along the highway median and identified additional sink holes in the area. Rats were seen scurrying around the sinkhole, indicated that there were other cavities below ground.

The cavities are caused by dolomite formations being worn away by acidic water.

The Pretoria-Johannesburg route has high traffic volumes with more than 40 000 vehicles using the road in each direction at peak hour.

The upgrade of the 14km section from central Pretoria was being carried out on behalf of the Gauteng department of roads and transport by the SA National Roads Agency Limited. It was expected to be completed by December.

Vadi said he was satisfied that the project was ahead of schedule.

This was despite a shortage of bitumen [a component of tar] and emergency work, which needed to be done because of a sinkhole that appeared along the route in June.

Vadi said the present four-lane carriageway on this stretch was being extended to six lanes as part of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.

This portion of the highway would not be subjected to proposed toll fees.

Source: Sapa via I-Net Bridge


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