Greytown Road: Construction trucks to add to congestion

2011-06-23 00:00

MOTORISTS frustrated by the daily traffic jams in New Greytown Road will soon find themselves caught up in tighter gridlocks when about 30 construction trucks make daily trips to and from a quarry in New Greytown Road on to the N3 for 18 months.

This will be for the construction of a bridge at a cost of more than R1 billion in Nottingham Road in the midlands.

The trucks will be hauling loads of construction material from Pietermaritzburg quarry to Rosetta, where the Spring Grove Dam is being built.

The work is being overseen by the Department of Water Affairs and is implemented by Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA), a state-owned entity.

TCTA spokesperson Chris Mageda said the primary phase of construction, which involves clearing the area, is under way.

He said that the trucks are expected to start moving between Pietermaritzburg and Rosetta before the end of the financial year, although he could not give a specific month.

“The trucks will start transporting the aggregate as soon as they get a go- ahead, and I’m sure that this is going to happen in this financial year. Their movement will continue for the next 18 months,” said Mageda.

Already there is an outcry among residents of Nottingham Road, who are concerned that the movement of trucks will affect traffic on their section of the R103, between Nottingham Road and Mooi River.

The heavy-duty trucks will use Chota Motala Road to and from the N3 to get to the quarry. The N3 is currently under reconstruction, and congestion is a daily occurrence.

Already motorists travelling between Pietermaritzburg CBD and northern suburbs face daily frustrations in the bumper-to-bumper gridlocks along Chota Motala Road.

During a meeting held between Nottingham Road residents and TCTA officials on Tuesday evening, residents raised concerns about the additional traffic expected on the R103. They said the aggregate should have been sourced from Spring Vale Farm, which is a mere three kilometres from the dam site.

They said that for years they have been putting up with about 400 long- distance trucks using the R103 every day to avoid the Mooi River toll plaza.

Said Moira Grueneberg, a local resident and a Democratic Alliance municipal councillor, “In 2008/2009 we had 450 accidents involving heavy-duty trucks between Nottingham Road and Mooi River. Accidents continue to happen.”

The residents said they fully support the construction of the dam because it will increase water capacity in KwaZulu-Natal. The dam will benefit eThekwini, uMngungundlovu, Ugu, Sisonke and Ilembe district municipalities.

A spokesperson for the local residents, Bobby Hoole, said that they fear that the additional truck traffic will not only affect the condition of R103, but might also result in more truck-related accidents.

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