Mar

Mayor wages R88-million war on potholes

2017-03-30 14:15
Executive Mayor of the city of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, along with a number of city officials, took to the streets of Ivory Park and Midrand to launch his “war’ against potholes. Here he gets down and dirty as he joins one of the pot-hole repair teams on site.

The Executive Mayor of the city of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, has announced an R88-million mayoral intervention to address the pothole repair backlog throughout the city. “We are declaring war on potholes and prioritising the repair of failing road surfaces,” he says.

The following interventions have been put in place to address the current pothole repair backlogs:

  • The City has provided additional funding to the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) in the 2016/17 Adjustment Budget: R60-million for materials and equipment for pothole repairs and other types of road maintenance; and R28-million to start to address the 40% staff capacity shortage in the road maintenance teams.
  • A contractor has been appointed to assist with the repair of potholes while additional staff are being recruited.
  • Pot-hole repair teams are working overtime to tackle the backlog, including on weekends.

“Together with the JRA, we are committed to improving mobility within the city through the provision of safe roads and infrastructure network. As part of this exercise, a city-wide inspection will be carried out in accordance with the use of JRA’s Visual Condition Index (VCI) criteria – every two years – to enable the scientific prioritisation of roads for reconstruction and resurfacing,” says Mashaba.

As part of this exercise, a city-wide inspection will be carried out every two years in accordance with the use of JRA’s Visual Condition Index (VCI) criteria to enable the scientific prioritisation of roads for reconstruction and resurfacing.

FleetWatch reported this pothole to the Johannesburg Roads Agency citing it as a dangerous death-trap which road users would not see at night and would hit full on as they drove down this road. It was fixed within two days. Well done JRA.

FleetWatch reported this pothole to the Johannesburg Roads Agency citing it as a dangerous death-trap which road users would not see at night and would hit full on as they drove down this road. It was fixed within two days. Well done JRA.

The 2017 city wide VCI inspection indicates that 40% of the city’s roads are in very good condition, 15% are in good condition, 15% in a fair condition, 14% in a poor condition and 15% in a very poor condition.

Through JRA’s integrated citizen communications channels, 37 450 potholes were reported between April 2015 and February 2017, of which 32 740 have been resolved. This indicates an 87.4% resolution rate.

“However,” says Mashaba, “the time taken to repair potholes does not meet the demand for a professional public service which is caring and responsive, and the JRA is working on improving the turn-around time for the repair of potholes.”  

He points out that that pothole repairs are a short term fix to ensure the safety of all road users, while resurfacing and/or reconstruction of roads remains the long term solutions to improving the condition of the city’s road network.

“As an interim solution, roads that have deteriorated but do not meet the VCI criteria for prioritisation within the available funding will undergo routine maintenance. This will include pothole repairs and deep patching where possible, until roads are scheduled and budgeted for resurfacing or reconstruction.”

The Road Reconstruction and Resurfacing Programme forms part of the JRA’s 10-year Roads Development Plan to achieve targeted improved road conditions across the city by 2023.  

The JRA is responsible for a total of 13 428kms of roads and according to Mashaba, the new administration in Johannesburg inherited an estimated R3.5-billion backlog for road surfacing and R2.3-billion backlog for roads reconstruction. 

These two pictures show a close-up view of the inside of the same pothole shown in the picture accompanying this article. This is what tyres hit which can either result in an immediate tyre burst or a tyre impact fracture which can manifest in a blow-out at a later stage. Either way they are deadly for tyres – and for people.

These two pictures show a close-up view of the inside of the same pothole shown in the picture accompanying this article. This is what tyres hit which can either result in an immediate tyre burst or a tyre impact fracture which can manifest in a blow-out at a later stage. Either way they are deadly for tyres – and for people.

“While the current budget allocation for resurfacing and reconstruction does not fully address these backlogs, this administration is committed to progressively increase the budgets for these activities over time. On this point, I am pleased to state that we have initiated a programme of tarring roads in impoverished areas which have had to live 23 years into democracy with gravel roads. These upgrades will take place in Doornkop, Lawley, Mayibuye, Tshepisong, Protea South and Ivory Park.”

As he rightfully points out, road and transport infrastructure isn’t just a means of moving people and goods from one point to another.

“Road and transport infrastructure is a way for people to access jobs, a way for businesses to access markets and one of the ways we create connected and integrated communities. To have a thriving economy, you need a transport network which functions like a well-oiled machine. We will continue to commit more resources, better technology, newer equipment and better trained teams to respond effectively to all vexing issues.”
All this is like music to a transporter’s ears.

 

The picture above of a night roadside gathering was not the meeting point for friends to gather before heading off to a party. Rather, it was a number of motorists who had to stop to change their burst tyres and damaged rims after hitting the pothole shown above. FleetWatch editor Patrick O’Leary stopped to chat to the pothole victims and see the cause of the mayhem. Note that awful pothole and then note the razor-sharp edge of the top of the pothole when viewed from inside. It’s no wonder such damage is incurred to tyres and rims as is seen here. The only plus here is that when FleetWatch reported this to the JRA, it too was fixed within two days. Potholes are dangerous and costly to motorists and truckers and it is thus FleetWatch welcomes the R88-million mayoral intervention to address the pothole repair backlog throughout the city. As Mayor Mashaba says: “To have a thriving economy, you need a transport network which functions like a well-oiled machine.” These pictures show that potholes bring the desired well-oiled machine to a grinding halt.

The picture above of a night roadside gathering was not the meeting point for friends to gather before heading off to a party. Rather, it was a number of motorists who had to stop to change their burst tyres and damaged rims after hitting the pothole shown above. FleetWatch editor Patrick O’Leary stopped to chat to the pothole victims and see the cause of the mayhem. Note that awful pothole and then note the razor-sharp edge of the top of the pothole when viewed from inside. It’s no wonder such damage is incurred to tyres and rims as is seen here. The only plus here is that when FleetWatch reported this to the JRA, it too was fixed within two days. Potholes are dangerous and costly to motorists and truckers and it is thus FleetWatch welcomes the R88-million mayoral intervention to address the pothole repair backlog throughout the city. As Mayor Mashaba says: “To have a thriving economy, you need a transport network which functions like a well-oiled machine.” These pictures show that potholes bring the desired well-oiled machine to a grinding halt.

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