C’mon admit it. You hate roadworks. Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. The vast majority of people hate roadworks especially when you come across a stop/go section that holds up your journey. FleetWatch, however, loves roadworks for to us it signifies infrastructure development and the maintenance of our roads network that allows trucks to travel safer and with better trip times than when travelling on a shagged out road. Good roads mean better transport productivity.
It is thus we warmly welcome the news that the four major construction projects underway on the N4 Toll Route by Trans African Concessions (TRAC) are progressing well, despite the recent challenging weather. To give truckers an update, here’s a progress report on the projects
Belfast-Machado road rehabilitation and upgrade
The major upgrade between Belfast and Machadodorp is progressing well and is 61% complete. The R400-million project, undertaken by Wilson Bayly Holmes Ovcon, includes constructing an additional lane per direction that will upgrade this section to a four-lane road. It also includes a new interchange at Machadodorp and the rehabilitation of 30km of Section 5B. Roadworks are scheduled for completion in May 2022.
Emalahleni – Middelburg road pavement rehabilitation and upgrade
The rehabilitation project between the OR Tambo and Van Dyksdrift interchanges in the Highveld region is 48% complete, with a completion date of March 2022. The R380-million project, being constructed by Raubex Construction, includes the removal and replacement of concrete slabs from the originally-constructed concrete surfaced road, overlaying the entire section with asphalt and the construction of an additional seven kilometres of passing lanes.
New Karino Interchange
This exciting Mbombela-based project is valued at R390-million and is 60% complete. Raubex is the contractor responsible for implementing this project which will see the existing intersection transformed into a grade-separated interchange, with on- and off-ramps and a bridge that will separate cross-traffic from through-traffic to ease traffic flow at the busy intersection.
Kaapmuiden to Kaalrug rehabilitation and upgrade
Tau Pele Construction is constructing this 15.5km road project, which includes upgrading the carriageway to four lanes and the rehabilitation of the existing road. The project is 70% complete and expected to be concluded in August 2021.
TRAC also did good work in getting the Elandsvalley fully opened following a two-week closure after Cyclone Eloise hit last month. The tropical storm’s heavy rainfall caused a stream crossing underneath the N4 – through a culvert – to overflow, resulting in road fill material underneath the road surface being washed away. This caused the road surface to subside, forcing TRAC to close this section of the national road. It is, of course, now fully opened.
Although TRAC does its best to prevent traffic disruptions due to road construction, traffic flow may be affected in certain areas, at specific times, and during peak traffic time. Road users are therefore urged to visit www.tracn4.co.za for regular, real-time updates that will assist them to plan their trips accordingly.
Also, give the construction guys a friendly hoot and a wave when you pass. Let them know that you appreciate the good work they are doing for all of us.