As concrete is the preferred material for the new con- crete bus lanes for the Ekurhuleni integrated rapid public transport network (IRPTN) currently under construction on Gauteng’s East Rand, cement and concrete industry body The Concrete Institute (TCI) has played an advisory role on site for contractors involved in the divided IRPTN, says TCI MD Bryan Perrie.
He points out that 18 km of bus lanes for Rustenburg’s rapid transport system have also been paved using continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP).
“CRCP is proving to be extremely popular globally for heavily trafficked routes, such as bus lanes, which is why it was also used for major sections of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP),” he says.
It has also become increasingly popular because it is a long-life low-maintenance material, constructed with steel-reinforcing bars placed within the concrete along the entire length of the pavement. CRCP naturally forms tight transverse cracks to evenly transfer load and provides a continuous, smooth-riding surface capable of withstanding heavy traffic loads during inclement weather. Because of its greater durability, longer life expectancy and minimal maintenance requirements, it can also provide better long-term value than any other pavement type.
The bus lanes of Phase 1 of the IRPTN will cover 38 km, linking Tembisa, the Kempton Park central business district (CBD), OR Tambo International Airport, the Boksburg CBD and Vosloorus.
Commissioned by the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality, the IRPTN will, on completion, be an integrated and expansive bus rapid transit (BRT) network, incorporating existing and new buses, as well as bus stops and stations. The BRT routes will be supported by the Phase 1 scope of work, including complementary and feeder services, such as new taxi routes, revitalised rail networks, enhanced walkways and cycle paths.
The new public transport network will include 4-m-wide dedicated concrete bus lanes situated in the middle of the network’s main roads. These lanes will be red- pigmented to differentiate them from all the other lanes.
Consulting engineering firm UWP Consulting is handling the design of the IRPTN in a joint venture with Pretoria-based professional services firm SMEC.
Meanwhile, TCI’s cncPave computerised concrete road design program was used to design the new IRPTN lanes.
Perrie tells Engineering News that TCI’s cncPave design program is constantly being updated to keep up to date with new developments and technology. The program can predict the performance of all concrete pavements, including ultrathin CRCP.
The latest version of the cncPave program was released in February as a Web-based application, enabling users logging into the program to automatically access the latest version.