Plans to repair risky ridge on N3

2017-07-20 11:43
The uneven road on the N3 Townhill at the Peter Brown off-ramp. INSET: The ridge between lanes on the N3 Townhill just before the Peter Brown off-ramp.

The uneven road on the N3 Townhill at the Peter Brown off-ramp. INSET: The ridge between lanes on the N3 Townhill just before the Peter Brown off-ramp. (Ian Carbutt)

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The risky ridge on the N3 Townhill near the Peter Brown off-ramp is “unlikely” to be repaired until next year.

In February this year, N3 travellers complained that a ridge between the truck lane and the slow lane had appeared, creating an uneven surface for vehicles attempting to take the Peter Brown off-ramp.

The Witness published an article in February about the ridge. At the time, a South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) source who could not be named said the hot weather, coupled with the braking of heavy trucks, had caused some of the tar to shift to the side, creating a ridge on the road surface.

The source had said the contractors would be back later in February to survey the damage with plans to fix the road.

Sanral operations and maintenance manager Dumi Nkabinde said yesterday that due to the amount of ground-water seeping through from the road pavement, they could not “temporarily repair the surfacing”.

He said this was because the groundwater “was weakening the bond between the old concrete and the new asphalt surface”. He said they were planning the permanent repair of the road but hit a snag with the process as National Treasury had asked that they amend their tender documents for the appointment of consulting engineers required to supervise the work.

“We had hoped to have a contractor on site before the end of the year but this is seeming increasingly unlikely.

“We undertook to reduce the normal travel speed to cater for this [the ridge] so at the reduced traffic speeds, the ledge is sufficiently safe enough for people to use the exit.” Nkabinde said due to the concerns of the public, they would repaint the lines on the road and restrict vehicle access onto the off-ramp lane until the “Rickivy viaduct just before the Peter Brown bridge”.

Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu said she hoped that when work on the road began, it would be completed speedily.

Pietermaritzburg resident Zarrin Ma’ani said she now avoided the off-ramp as she felt “too nervous” trying to manoeuvre around the trucks.

“You can feel your car wobbling when you drive over that ridge,” she said.“I feel it is too risky to take that off-ramp so I do not use it at all anymore,” she said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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