South Africa is set to issue tenders worth over US $1bn for the upgrade of N2 and N3 freeways. Tenders worth over US $548m will be issued in the coming months to start construction on the N3 upgrade project between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) has confirmed.
This will include the construction of four or five lanes in each direction, and the reconfiguration of major interchanges in parts of the highways.
N2 and N3 upgrades
The N2 upgrade will focus on a 55km length of road from Lovu River, on the South Coast, to Umdloti, on the North Coast. The N3 upgrade will focus on an 80km section from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. According to SANRAL several initiatives will be undertaken during the construction to improve the freeways’ usability, and safety.
The major realignment of the N3 highway at Key Ridge just outside Durban, where steep grades currently causes major traffic congestion and serious crashes. The roads will also be designed to be aesthetically pleasing to last for decades into the future. The redesigned EB Cloete Interchange near Durban where the N2 and N3 cross each other is an example of this. It will also feature a cable suspended bridge from an arch.
According to SANRAL’s Executive Engineer Louw Kannemeyer, the projects form part of President Cyril Rampahosa’s infrastructure stimulus package announced at the end of 2018.
Investing in economic infrastructure
The project will be expected to create over 15,000 jobs over the five to eight years construction period, depending on funding availability. The project is part of the initiative strengthen the logistics and transport corridor between South Africa’s main industrial hubs in Durban and Gauteng. It will also improve access to Durban’s export and import facilities.
Mr. Kannemeyer said they expect a surge in road construction projects over the medium-term framework as part of the broader national efforts to invest in economic infrastructure.
“We are confident that this investment will help to boost the construction sector which has been under severe pressure in recent years, and also cascade down to black-owned and emerging enterprises who will receive much larger shares of tenders in future,” he added.