All systems go for phase one of Chota Motala N3 interchange

2010-05-18 00:00

MOTORISTS driving in the vicinity of the N3/Chota Motala interchange will need to proceed cautiously for the next two years from tomorrow as a long-awaited upgrade gets under way.

Acting public safety manager Kwenza Khumalo told The Witness yesterday that it is all systems go for the first phase of the roadworks.

Motorists approaching the interchange from both ends of the N3 may have noticed that the speed limit signs have been covered, which Khumalo says has been done in anticipation of the start of the project.

As of late yesterday afternoon, Khumalo said, the reduced speed limit in the area will be in line with the South African roads manual, and that it is likely to fall between 50 and 80 km/h.

During the project, he said, both northbound and southbound lanes will be enlarged to help ease congestion, although road users should also be alert to signs that will inform them how to proceed at construction areas.

He advised motorists to use alternative routes where possible to ensure that there is as little traffic as possible on the N3.

“We ask the public to bear with us. It will be an inconvenience [in the short term], but it’s for a good cause,” he said.

Last month, The Witness reported that the R300 million project is going ahead after being postponed for months.

Synonymous with bumper-to-bumper traffic for years, the upgrade will take place in phases. It will provide respite to motorists only when the project is completed in June 2012.

Until then, traffic in and around this area is expected to worsen.

Khumalo said a special committee made up of representatives of the Msunduzi Municipality, the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), the Transport Department and other interested parties has been formed to deal with unforseen developments.

Khumalo said pedestrians will be catered for during construction after certain concerns were raised about Forest Hill Primary pupils, who need to access the school premises near the heart of the roadworks.

“A pedestrian plan has been formulated … [to] accommodate lear­ners, and the principal is on board with this,” he said.

• Construction will take place from Monday to Saturday from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm, and two lanes on both carriageways will be open to traffic, said Khumalo.

He said the Road Traffic Inspectorate will monitor construction on the N3 from Liberty Midlands Mall towards the interchange.

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