The project which began in March 2016, will see the 34km stretch of N2 between Mtunzini and Empangeni transformed into a 14-metre wide…
THE local tourism and business sectors can expect to receive a much needed boost from the R1.4-billion N2 highway upgrade, expected to be complete by the end of June.
The project, which began in March 2016, will see the 34km stretch of N2 between Mtunzini and Empangeni transformed into a 14-metre wide, safer dual carriage highway which will enable the road to cope with increased traffic volumes on what the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) describes as a key arterial.
According to SANRAL Eastern Region Project Manager, Corné Roux, a portion of the newly constructed road between Mtunzini and just south of eSikhaleni was opened to the public earlier this month.
‘The first section of the new northbound road was opened on 12 January to enable repair work on the existing road to commence.
‘The rest of the road will be opened once the entire new northbound carriageway is completed come the end of June.’
An aerial view of the 120 metre long uMlalazi River bridge – the second largest structure of the project
Roux said there were a number of challenges experienced owing to ground conditions during piling, as well as weather delays impacting on the completion date.
‘As with all contracts, the project is constrained by a fixed budget impacting on the scheduling of the repair work,’ said Roux.
In a media statement, Conor Infrastructure, the company contracted to SANRAL for the completion of the upgrade project, said work entailed extending more than 11 main bridge structures, including two large bridges and four overpass bridges, and required more than 20 000m3 concrete and 2 307 tonnes of steel reinforcing.
Kyle McDonald, Concor infrastructure engineer on the project, said the two large bridges are among the engineering highlights of the project.
‘The largest of the new bridges is a 240 metre, eight-span structure over the uMhlathuze River. It comprises eight supported 30 metre deck spans carried on solid reinforced concrete wall-type piers on piled foundations, with pier heads and closed-type abutments also on piled foundations.
‘The next largest structure is the bridge over the uMlalazi River. At 120 metres long, this four-span bridge is also simply supported with three internal wall-type piers with pier heads and closed cantilever-type abutments with return walls and ear wings,’ he said.
Source : https://zululandobserver.co.za