Green Light for N2 Upgrade from Grahamstown to Fish River
The Department of Environmental Affairs has granted the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) environmental authorisation to upgrade the N2 between Grahamstown and the Fish River Pass.
The Basic Assessment Report (BAR) for the project states that the upgrading of the 47-kilometre stretch “will improve the level of service of the road to cater for increased traffic volumes over the next 25 years”.
It points out that that the project will include a number of “geometric improvements that will increase the design speed to 100 kilometres an hour,” adding that the benefits will include lower road user costs; travel time savings; improved sight distance, leading to a reduction in the number of traffic accidents and “reduced carbon emissions arising from the lower fuel consumption on the smoother road alignment”.
The BAR says that in addition to the strengthening of the road structure and widening to 3.7 metre lanes with 2.5 metre surfaced shoulders, the project also involves the provision of climbing lanes; widening of the Fish River Bridge and improvements to the Fish River Pass.
SANRAL plans to widen the road either to the left or the right of the existing road “in order to accommodate two-way traffic during construction” and limit Stop-Go restrictions and so “reduce vehicle build up along the construction areas”.
The BAR notes that the existing road was built in the 1950s and “does not meet the current road user needs,” while adjacent landowners have pointed to the number of fatal accidents as a result of poor visibility and sight distance
The document points out that that the road maintenance programme has been identified as a “contributing factor” towards the success of Strategic Integrated Project (SIP) 6 as it will “enhance service delivery capacity and thereby impact positively on the population”.
The BAR adds that while this is not specifically mentioned, the upgrading of the N2 along sections throughout the Eastern Cape will also contribute to SIP 3, the South-Eastern node and corridor development. - metrominutes
IMAGE sourced from www.grocotts.co.za
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