Road upgrade to ‘incite vibrancy’

2015-11-11 06:01

COMMENTING on the NMA presentation on 29 October, on the proposed N2 Adams Road upgrade, Durban South Business Forum (DSBF) again raised concerns that at the time of discussion, there was no Sanral representation.

“Only representatives from the consulting engineers were present and as a result, only technical matters could be discussed. There was no opportunity to discuss commercial and softer issues,” DSBF stated.

It said it was discovered that more possible solutions were devised by the engineers. However, only one option was presented to the public at the event and said as a result of the above two factors, it was not possible to express a complete informed opinion about the proposed upgrade.

The overall general standpoint of DSBF is however, that any development and/or upgrade should be conducive to long-term enhancement and development of the community in general and should stimulate business vibrancy in the area.

Secondly, DSBF felt the proposed solution presented will help to relieve the traffic congestion in the area. However, alternative options should be investigated to divert national commercial traffic to alternative options.

“The proposed solution will not alleviate the problem that the current position of the N2 highway presents in splitting Amanzimtoti and surrounding areas into two. Once again it is unknown if this is a possibility considered in the alternative options not revealed,” Jaco Wijnmaalen said on behalf of the DSBF management committee.

Commenting on tolling, Wijnmaalen said although DSBF is not in favour of tolling the development, this fact is secondary to the primary need of development of infrastructure conducive to business development and community upliftment in general.

Listing Upper South Coast Anti-Toll Alliance (USCATA) concerns to NMA (representing Sanral) chairman Ted Holden commented on the lack of appropriate and acceptable public participation.

“None of the reported 100 adverts supposedly placed in Toti were noticed or seen ... not a single resident along Lewis Drive has been approached concerning how they will tolerate a four-lane highway running past their gate,” Holden stated.

Marshall Muthen, Sanral eastern region project manager said the public participation process is regulated and guided by the current EIA regulations and legislation.
“The initial open day was to initiate a public participation process, and is the beginning of a process to obtain views and feedback. There are options available to extend the process depending on the concerns and queries raised. Residents whose properties are directly affected by the proposed upgrades shall be contacted directly in separate consultation to address the direct impacts on their properties,” he added.

USCATA said the 29 October proposal only satisfies Sanral’s continued attempts to expect residents and commuters of Toti and Upper South Coast to finance the construction of the infamous N2 Wild Coast toll road.

DSBF stated it is not in favour of tolling the N2 within the eThekwini boundaries.
“However, tolling or not should not drive the effort of upgrading the road infrastructure in the area. The issue at hand is a lot bigger than that.

“DSBF will certainly resist tolling the roads in this area in order to finance road development in other areas. This was a Sanral intention that became quite clear a number of years ago when Sanral had similar plans,” Wijnmaalen said.

Sanral says the project to upgrade of the Adams Road interchange is separate from the N2 Wild Coast toll project.
“The Adams Road interchange upgrade is required due to congestion and safety concerns, which is expected to significantly worsen in the short-term if the current interchange is not upgraded. No upgrading of the N2 freeway itself is included in the Adams Road interchange upgrade project,” Muthen stated.

The full USCATA comment to NMA and Sanral’s comment on the USCATA document can be viewed on the Amanzimtoti Fever Facebook page and the facebook page set up specifically for public participation, on the link 97220392/?notif_t=fbpage_fan_invite

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