Construction works on the upgrade of the N3, Section 2, from Cato Ridge to Dardanelles in South Africa has begun. Under this 48-month contract, the existing 4-lane dual carriageway will be increased to an 8-lane dual carriageway for 6.4km and will significantly increase the capacity of the road.
A road-over rail bridge will be extended to accommodate the widening of the road, together with numerous box culverts and pipe culverts. Furthermore, the upgrade will include the installation of lighting along the 6.4km.
The R103 provincial road, which runs next to the N3, will also be upgraded between the outer limits of the contract. A new section of R103 will be constructed alongside the N3 on the southern side between Camperdown Interchange and the existing R103.
According to SANRAL Project Manager, Mohamed Parak, this project, which comes at a cost of approximately US $99.1m was necessitated by high crash statistics as well as poor conditions of the pavement. The upgrade will increase safety but also significantly improve the level of service (LOS) for the next 30 years.
In line with SANRAL’s transformation objectives, at least US $27.3m will be subcontracted to SMMEs while just over US $6.8m will be spent on local labour.
Initial stages of construction
The initial stages of construction will consist of major maintenance works along the N3 as well as the adjacent provincial roads to accommodate traffic during construction. The patching and re-surfacing of the existing R103 will commence 19 April, until the end of July 2021, while the patching of the N3 will be carried out at night between 19h00 and 05h00 and should be completed towards the end of July 2021.
For the maintenance works, Stop/Go restrictions will be in place on the R103. For the N3, no closures are envisaged for the maintenance works, however, the work will be accommodated with some restrictions and with traffic control measures in place.
The main upgrading activities on the N3 are expected to commence in June 2021, starting with the widening of the Durban-bound carriageway. During major construction activities 2-lane traffic flow in each direction will be maintained on the N3, with minimal disruption to the traffic once traffic control measures are in place.
“We appeal to road users to note and comply with the advance warning signs and speed restrictions, when travelling past the construction work zones. To prioritise the safety of both the construction workers and road users, the speed limit along the route will be reduced to 80km/hr during construction. Motorists are encouraged to plan their journeys accordingly, and to make provision for the additional travel time,” said Parak.