PMB pothole teams in action

2008-01-07 00:00

THE Msunduzi Municipality will be sending out its road inspection teams to assist the public in identifying potholes and to make the necessary repairs, said Msunduzi strategic executive manager for infrastructure, services and facilities Phil Mashoko.

However, Mashoko said it is also important for citizens to keep in mind that this is pothole season because of the heavy rains.

Yognathan Iyer from Super Tyres in Chief Albert Luthuli Street (Commercial Road) said an increasing number of motorists are coming in to fix their tyres because of potholes.

“One guy was test driving a vehicle when he hit a pothole and busted two tyres, which cost him R1 000 each to fix,” he said.

He said they have had a number of complaints from customers regarding potholes.

Mashoko said that since mid-December, 41 potholes in the city were reported to the customer services desk, of which 32 have been repaired. The remaining nine are to be attended to as soon as possible.

He said it should be noted that insufficient funds have been allocated for planned maintenance work for pothole repairs and therefore the response to potholes is almost entirely reactionary.

He added that the situation has been exacerbated by the loss through retirement of two road superintendents whose experience is hard to replace.

This also means allocating further resources to either create additional units or engage contractors to carry out planned and reactive maintenance.

The strategy adopted by the sub-unit is for comprehensive asset management, which preventative maintenance is part of.

“The strategic goal is achieving 80% planned maintenance and 20% reactive maintenance.

“However, due to resource challenges, this goal has not been achieved to date,” said Mashoko.

He said there are over 1 200 km of tarred road in the municipality and a condition analysis of the roads has been undertaken to determine a comprehensive asset management plan.

In the last financial year, the municipality spent more than R15 million on overlays and rehabilitation of approximately 30 km of tarred roads.

On the collapsed wall of the Sunnyside Bridge, Mashoko said the wing wall to the road over the rail bridge moved during works carried out by Spoornet. Spoornet have now compacted material to stabilise the wing wall.

“The movement of the wall caused the road to subside and we are now monitoring the situation to ensure that the wing wall has stabilised, particularly over the period of heavy rains. Once this has been confirmed work will commence on re-instating the damaged roadway.”

The KwaZulu-Natal Transport Department’s Blake Mackenzie said they are in the process of rehabilitating roads that have been affected by the potholes.

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