Easier road access to CBD

2009-12-07 00:00

RESIDENTS who have difficulty accessing the CBD from the western parts of the city, due to heavy traffic congestion, can expect respite once the city’s proposal for an alternative through-road is approved.

Although it’s still early days, the proposed project will involve the upgrading and extension of a section of Burger Street. At present, Burger Street curves into Peter Kerchoff (formerly Chapel) Street at a 90-degree angle.

The Msunduzi Municipality intends to lengthen this part of Burger Street and align it with Burger Street extension up into the West Street intersection. Traffic signals will then be provided for the new Burger and Chapel Street intersection, as well as for the West and Burger Street extension intersection.

Deputy municipal manager for infrastructure services, Phil Mashoko, said the upgrade is necessary for the redistribution of traffic in the city.

“It’s been on the cards for the past 16 years, as far as I know. In terms of the construction phase, it really depends on the availability of funding, but hopefully it will commence within the next three years,” he said.

He said it was difficult to give an estimate on the cost implications at this point, as they were still in the planning stages.

John Richardson, the consultant handling the project on behalf of Afzelia Environmental Consultants (AEC), said they were still going through a basic assessment process.

“In brief, the objectives of the basic assessment are to describe the environment, identify potential impacts, assess their significance and formulate an Environmental Impact Statement, including a summary of key findings and a comparison of alternatives,” said Richardson, in a background document he forwarded to The Witness.

The environmental process is expected to be finalised in four to six months time, and no cultural features are likely to be impac­ted upon during the upgrade and extension.

The project was set to be discussed at a public meeting scheduled last week, where the public was able to air its concerns.

• EXTENSION of Burger Street to link the exis­ting street to Burger Street (ext). The extension will comprise approximately 130 meters of new road and associated infrastructure.

• The upgrading and widening of approximately 600 meters of black top road where necessary, between New Gutridge Street and the Burger Street (ext)/West street intersection, to accommodate the proposed extension of Burger Street.

• Upgrading and construction of drainage structures along the route.

• Signalising of the Burger Street and Peter Kerchoff (Chapel Street) intersection, as well as the Burger Street and West Street intersection.

• Construction of pedestrian walkways in the areas to be extended.

A BRIEF site survey has confirmed that the site is predominantly transformed and no potential biodiversity concerns should arise.

The current condition of the road is good, however, the widths of the existing roads are limited and the extension of the road will require widening in some areas.

The existing road is bounded by residential and business land uses and the road reserve is narrow in some places which may be a limiting factor in some areas for potential widening.

The widening of the existing roads would take place within the existing road reserves.

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