The Johannesburg Roads Agency’s (JRA’s) multimillion-rand project to rehabilitate three bridges on the M1 freeway has entered its second phase.
This new phase is set to cause major traffic headaches, as construction now moves to the freeway surface, leading to the closure of lanes at certain sections of the already congested freeway.
The two sections of the road most affected are the double-decker section of the M1 – between Carr and Anderson streets in the city centre – where work will include structural repairs, asphalt surfacing, tending to the expansion joints and improving the drainage systems.
The Federation and Oxford bridges are also undergoing major facelifts.
In addition, a two-kilometre section of dual-carriage freeway between Rockridge and Federation Roads will be rehabilitated, with the existing storm water drainage system in the area to be replaced.
The R210-million project should wrap up work on the Oxford and Federation bridges by February next year, while improvements on the double-decker section, prone to flooding during thunderstorms, will finish in the middle of next year.
City of Johannesburg Transport MMC Christine Walters says the freeway revitalisation project forms part of Johannesburg’s R100-billion investment in strategic infrastructure over a ten-year period.
The M1 is a key arterial route through the heart of Johannesburg, and vital to the growth of Southern Africa’s most important economic hub, she notes.
She urges commuters to be patient during the construction work, which should add around 30 minutes in travelling time, one way.
It will, however, she says, be wiser to use alternative routes or public transport during the construction period.
Mobile apps will assist commuters in choosing the best alternative routes, and detailed lane-closure information will be made available on the JRA website, as well as through print, electronic and social media news, and through traffic updates on radio stations.
JRA acting MD Mpho Kau says most of the work will be conducted at night and during weekends and off-peak periods.
He says the project follows a 2013 assessment of the 889 bridge structures under the JRA’s control, which noted that R5-billion of repairs had be made to these structures.
The three bridges currently being repaired were identified as most urgent, owing to the role they play in keeping Gauteng’s economy rolling.
Kau urges commuters to take note of the following lane closures:
The northbound carriageway of the M1 – carrying traffic from Soweto and the M2 – will be reduced to two lanes between the St Andrews off-ramps and Killarney as from February 29, until December 31.
The southbound carriageway of the M1 – carrying traffic from Midrand – will be reduced to two lanes between the Killarney and St Andrews off-ramps as from April 3, until December 31.
The southern on-ramp onto the M1 from Oxford road will be closed at Ettrick road from April 3.
The Oxford road off-ramp from the M1 travelling northbound will be closed from August 13.
Certain lanes on the double-decker section will be closed until July 6, 2017, during weekdays, between 09:30 and 14:30. Weekends may see the closure of up to three lanes.