Worms delay project

2013-09-04 00:00

GIANT earthworms are offering Msunduzi Municipality a chance to address traffic congestion expected in the Scottsville, Pelham and Bisley areas when two major housing developments are completed in the next three years.

Residents have welcomed the developments. However, at a meeting recently they expressed concern about the impact the additional housing would have on the existing traffic congestion in the area.

The smaller development is a townhouse complex opposite the Pelham Shopping Centre (see artist’s impression above left). The larger development, which is expected to have more of an impact on traffic, is the construction of 952 rental housing units in the Westgate/Grange area (see picture above right). The development is being carried out by the Msunduzi Housing Association (MHA).

According to MHA CEO Ivor Caldecott, construction work has been delayed because a significant species of giant earthworm prevalent in the area has to be relocated. Caldecott said that in order for the relocation to be successful, it needs to be undertaken after the first good summer rains.

“We hope that this will be no later than October 10,” he said.

The R300 million project will be built on two plots of land whose consolidation is expected to be finalised in the next few weeks.

“Once we get going with construction, it should take 27 months to completion and I firmly believe it will be a huge boost to the area,” Caldecott said.

He added that “nothing noteworthy” had been mentioned during the traffic impact assessment phase while planning the project.

“If there are concerns, the municipality will have about three years to address this.”

At a residents’ meeting held last week, a host of suggestions were given to ward councillors Vic Winterbach and Philani Ngidi. These include building a traffic circle near the Pelham development and speed humps in the vicinity.

Resident Percy Ngcobo pleaded for the municipality to address the traffic situation. He said that the congestion at the corner of Murray and Reggie Hadebe [Richmond] roads in the mornings was already “difficult”.

Ngcobo called for traffic lights on Murray and Reggie Hadebe roads.

Rod Honey recalled that the municipality once had plans to turn Reggie Hadebe Road into a fly­over going over Murray Road. He said this plan should be revisited.

The suggestions will be forwarded to the municipality for consideration.

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