Bridge to ease northern areas traffic

2019-05-22 06:02
Construction on Stanford Road bridge is expected to be completed by September this year.                                            Photo:KAILIN DANIELS

Construction on Stanford Road bridge is expected to be completed by September this year. Photo:KAILIN DANIELS

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CONSTRUCTION on the Stanford Road bridge in Port Elizabeth is well under way, with a revised completion date set for September this year.

The project was launched to construct the dedicated bus lanes for the ITPS buses, in an effort to relieve traffic congestion on Stanford Road.

The road is the main thoroughfare for the city’s northern areas, with no other alternative routes. With heavily congested traffic during peak hours, drivers whose daily commutes take them over the Stanford Road bridge, will soon have access to a two-way road with dedicated bus lanes.

The tender was originally made available in 2017 and was awarded to LEEK Construction.

The start date for construction to commence was in October 2018.

However, despite a slow start due to alleged contractual disputes between SANRAL and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, LEEK Construction has made swift progress on the project, said assistant site agent and SMME manager, Dave le Roux.

“We could not start with construction last year and construction on the Stanford Road bridge only commenced in January this year.

“The main objective of the bridge is to install dedicated bus lanes for the ITPS buses, which will automatically decrease traffic congestion on Stanford Road,” Le Roux said.

Currently, the buses are driving out of the older dedicated bus lanes in Stanford Road and joining the main traffic.

While the work is underway, only two lanes are open for commuters driving towards Korsten and the speed limit has been reduced.

According to Le Roux, the current pedestrian bridge on Stanford Road will be demolished to make way for a ‘precast concrete pedestrian bridge’.

“The demolition of the existing walkway is expected to take place at night and traffic will be diverted. Traffic during peak hours will not be affected, which is why we have decided to work at night,” Le Roux added.

In addition, the project was initially planned to start with the original ITPS bus project.

However, the tender was allegedly cancelled and the project was postponed.

According to Le Roux, there are currently two SMMEs on site, with two more expected this week and additional SMMEs will follow as well.

Le Roux commented, “We have a total of 11 SMMEs as part of this project.

“Everything is still on track for the bridge to be completed in September this year.

“We worked a few nights last week to be able to finish in time with the project.

“We will also be working underneath the highway, which will result in applying traffic accommodation on the highway.”

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