The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) has shown off the finishing touches of the new Nasrec precinct, which includes a pedestrian promenade and walkway, which links the Soccer City stadium and the Nasrec Expo Centre, as well as the newly built transport hub.
The JDA was responsible for the precinct overlay around the stadium, and spent about R100-million on upgrading the area, which now has a neat, tree-lined pedestrian promenade and an amphitheatre, with capacity for about 500 people, for smaller events.
People making their way to the stadium will use the walkway, which crosses over the once divisive railway lines, as they disembark from the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, or transport hub, or make their way from the International Broadcasting Centre, which has been set up for journalists covering the soccer events.
Construction of the pedestrian promenade was a Stefanutti Construction and Moloko Group Holdings joint venture (JV), which was completed in October 2009, at a cost of about R60-million.
There are also benches in the precinct, safety cameras, and lighting and speakers, which are similar to that of the stadium lighting. There are also entrance gateways from the transport hub to the promenade, as well as ablution facilities.
The design of the promenade, from an aerial view, looks like a flame lighting the ‘calabash' stadium.
JDA CEO Lael Bethlehem said that the architects for the precinct were Boogertmann architects, and while the Stefanutti Moloko JV was responsible for the pedestrian walkway and the BRT elements of the precinct, Sanyati construction were the contractors for the other elements of the precinct.
About R50-million was spent on the transport hub at Nasrec, which now boasts the Nasrec BRT station, and organised space for coaches to park and drop off spectators to the soccer matches at the stadium.
The transport hub at Nasrec also included the newly refurbished Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) Nasrec station. The station was upgraded at a cost of R70-million, which was paid for by Prasa, and was officially opened on June 2.
Prasa has also said that it would provide a free train service for FIFA World Cup ticket holders, to this station.
The company that manages, operates and maintains the stadium would also be responsible for the outer precinct area.
Nasrec was traditionally the old boundary between Johannesburg and Soweto, and thus "a very important place to try and stitch the city together", said Bethlehem.
Beyond the immediate surrounds of the stadium, the JDA has also worked on building new roads, with streetlights as well as landscaping, and erecting artworks in the area of Nasrec.
"We have tried to create the sense of a city in the area because before, it almost felt quite rural in the area, and now you really see the area becoming a new platform for investment, particularly housing investment. So, the whole Nasrec area is doing well, and I think is poised for a lot more property development," Bethlehem explained to Engineering News Online.