Brace for Durban traffic disruptions

2009-02-17 00:00

It will be road works ahead for motorists entering Durban from every direction for the rest of the year as the eThekwini Municipality begins to upgrade road and transport systems for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Carlos Esteves, deputy head of road systems management, said yesterday that a number of key projects will begin within the next two weeks, while many other major upgrades are already underway.

Included are upgrades to major intersections and freeway glide-offs; the implementation of a sophisticated freeway management and CCTV road monitoring system; the creation of a traffic call centre; more dedicated public transport lanes and an inner city distribution system.

Negotiations are underway with major malls to create a park-and-ride system. This will allow motorists entering the city along the N3 to park at the Pavilion and catch a shuttle to the stadium precinct.

Julie-May Ellingson, head of the city’s strategic projects unit, said negotiations with several large shopping malls are well advanced. A trial run of the mall-based park-and-ride service is earmarked for June.

The park-and-ride system, together with shuttles from either Durban International or the new King Shaka Airport and the inner city distribution system (allowing motorists to use inner-city parking pools and either ride or walk to the stadium) will converge at a central transport hub close to the stadium.

Esteves said commuters will walk to the stadium from the transport hub or fan park.

Walking distances would be determined by the match day minus one and match day security cordons that would be put in place by Fifa.

Pedestrian routes will be significantly upgraded with paving, trees, signage and lighting.

The existing underpass near the swimming pool will be key to pedestrian access, according to Esteves, but will be remodelled as it is too narrow.

Work will begin within two weeks, causing deviations along the Ruth First Highway (M4).

Road works will soon begin for the installation of cabling for message and traffic detection equipment with electronic message boards.

Traffic disruptions at Warwick junction will intensify as the main section of the inbound flyover is built and the outbound flyover “breaks ground”, also in the next two weeks.

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