Roadworks headache

2011-11-15 00:00

THE benefits will be worth it — and it is expected to end a year from now — says Gavin Harrison, Sanral’s head of engineering responsible for the renovations on the N2 near Hibberdene and Oribi toll plaza, the cause of much traffic mayhem.

“The renovation is only a periodic maintenance reseal, not a widening, and when concluded the surface will make for better riding,” he said.

The chairperson of the ratepayers’ association in the area, John Irven, agrees. “We complain too much; let us all just be patient as this is in our best interest,” he said. “These things just have to happen and they do take time; they don’t happen overnight,” he said.

But motorists are unmoved by the response and have expressed fears of an “increase in accidents” and “complete disregard for rules”.

Marisa Erasmus Laister said she travels the road late at night and it’s a nightmare.

“I also travel that way sometimes and I agree the safety aspect is appalling. Especially when taxi drivers can’t grasp the concept and all of a sudden appear from nowhere, on the wrong side of the road,” she said.

Motorist James Carlsen said there was a huge accident there late on Saturday night. “Just as the two lanes merge it’s very confusing, particularly at night, and very dangerous.”

South Coast search-and-rescue paramedic Vikki Warren-Pretorius said that last week she spoke to one of the stop/go attendants on the southbound carriageway about getting a supervisor out to sort out the safety problem.

“They said they needed to channel the traffic correctly into the appropriate lane and put the women with the flags further down to warn traffic and not at the actual stop/go sign, which was already being manned.

“We watched traffic shoot through the stop/go while we were all at a standstill to allow oncoming traffic through. I really thought I was going to be dispatched to a head-on collision. And I’m not the only one from our base who has witnessed similar problems.”

Kevin Krummeck said he often uses the stretch on his motorbike and that the roadworks appear to be well managed.

“I have been watching the roadworks with interest, especially around the Port Shepstone toll booth, and while I find it frustrating, with my very limited knowledge of roadworks, it appears that they are doing a thorough job . At least maintenance is being done on the road, rather than allowing it to become pothole-ridden before anything is done.

“On my motorbike I ride all over the country and with the exception of the Cape — which has well cambered, smooth roads — the rest of the country has disastrous and dangerous pot-holed roads. That is why I say I am glad to see that we are at least doing maintenance on this highway to keep it safe.”

• rowan.sewchurran@witness.co.za

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