More traffic chaos expected after first day of M2 closure

2019-02-28 16:31
Die M2-hoofweg gaan weens dringende herstelwerk agt maande gesluit wees. Foto: Felix Dlangamandla

Die M2-hoofweg gaan weens dringende herstelwerk agt maande gesluit wees. Foto: Felix Dlangamandla

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Traffic in Johannesburg on Thursday was not as chaotic as expected, but that was only because of delays in getting everything ready for the closure of the M2 (westbound) highway. 

Commuters in Johannesburg had been bracing themselves for the closure of the M2 highway between the Crown interchange and Maritzburg Road, which was scheduled to commence on Thursday at 06:00. This is to allow for the rehabilitation of the Karzene and Selby sections of the M2 bridge. Rehabilitation of the bridge is expected to continue until the end of October.

Work on the bridge also led to the closure of the highway (between the Joe Slovo off-ramp and Maritzburg Road) in the opposite direction last year. This section is also expected to be opened to motorists towards the end of the year.

On Thursday, heavy congestion was experienced in the CBD, but not as heavy as expected because of delays in getting barricades and signage in place, according to Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar. 

"The M2 at Maritzburg has not yet been blocked off because we're waiting for signs and barricades," Minnaar told News24 on Thursday morning. "But the Heidelberg Road section has already been closed off." 

According to Minnaar, the extreme congestion that was expected has not yet been experienced because of the late closure of the Maritzburg Street off-ramp, but that it was expected to be closed at midday on Thursday.

"The closure is necessitated by the continuous monitoring and the bridge visual conditions assessment which indicated that the structural integrity of the concrete elements is severely reduced," Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) spokesperson Goodwill Mbatha said in an earlier statement.

Last week Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said it was decided to close the highway after the JRA realised that parts of the support structure on the bridge had moved and were affecting the structural stability of some bridges on the M2 motorway.

The closure means commuters and motorists will have to plan their travel time around new routes.

Those on the westbound traffic route travelling towards Roodepoort from the east are urged to stay on the N3 and make use of the N12 to access areas to the west and south of the city.

Read more on:    johannesburg
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