N3 Route development in South Africa

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Development works for the N3 Townhill Road in South Africa are steadily progressing and on track. Due to heavy rainfall in December 2022, the project’s work had to be put on a temporary pause. However, the project is back on track, due for completion in 2023.

The project stretches from Sanctuary Road right to Link Road. The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) assured us that the project’s remaining work will be completed soon.

The N3 Townhill Road’s remaining developments include the construction of the gabion retaining walls on the northbound carriage. Not forgetting the construction of side drains on both the northbound and southbound carriageway. The remaining works also include the construction of the additional stacking lanes at Hilton alongside middle and fast lane repairs to the northbound carriageway.

About N3 Route in South Africa

The N3 is a national road in South Africa. The road connects Johannesburg and Durban South Africa’s largest and third-largest cities respectively.

Reported On May 26, 2014

Sanral to spend US$1.45bn in the upgrade of South Africa’s N3 highway

Almost US$1.45bn will cost the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) to upgrade the N3 road between Pietermaritzburg and Durban in KwaZulu Natala in the next five years.

Initially, Sanral had planned to upgrade the N3 between Cedara and Durban on an estimated amount of US$1.44bn. The second phase of advancement will be on the Pietermaritzburg ring road and Hammarsdale, expected to be complete by 2027 at a cost of US$1.52bn.

Ravi noted that the proposed De Beers Pass route, which would bypass Harrismith, will cut 14 km from the Johannesburg to Durban trip and be safer than the existing Van Reenen’s Pass route.

The South African government adopted a National Infrastructure Plan in 2012 that intends to transform the country’s economic landscape while simultaneously creating significant numbers of new jobs, and strengthening the delivery of basic services.

In his 2013 budget speech, Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan announced that the government will over the three years from 2013/14 invest US$80bn in the building of new and the upgrading of existing roads, ports, railway systems, electricity plants, hospitals, and other infrastructure.

Reported On Oct 19, 2015

N3 highway stretch in South Africa to be renovated

The N3 highway stretch between Johannesburg and Durban will be by the South African Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and it will cost US $34.79m.

Renovation on this section of the road will include the construction of extra lanes between Cedara and Tweedie Interchange which are on the northern side of Pietermaritzburg with a work area of about to be 11 kilometers.

According to the Manager of Sanral Ravi Ronny, the contract, to N3 Toll Concession (N3TC). They will deal with the financing, planning and design, construction, and maintaining the section between Heidelberg and Cedara.

Ronny also noted that the upgrade of the road was important due to the fact that it links the Port of Durban to Gauteng which is the heart of South Africa’s economy.

The two companies have also put in place measures to help ease traffic congestion in the construction period with measures to minimize disruption while maintaining road safety being put in place.

However, during peak hours of traffic, lanes will be open.

Reported On Oct 19, 2015

South Africa to upgrade N3 highway stretch

The contract for this project is around US$35.05m and would take a construction period of 2 years.

According to the Eastern Region design and construction manager for Sanral, Ravi Ronny, works on this new project would include additional lanes between Tweedie and Cedara interchanges located North of Pietermaritzburg. This will be 11km long.

Ronny also said that the new contract will entail the planning, design, construction and financing of the road project, not forgetting its maintenance. This stretch is important in that it’s South Africa’s principal freight and logistics corridor.

Increased use by passengers and heavy vehicles on this road led to the decision of upgrading it something, and this would help minimize the impact that heavy traffic might cause in the years to come.

The N3 highway stretch links the Port of Durban and Gauteng, which are South Africa’s Economic hubs. This part of the N3 highway stretch will be funded and managed by N3 Toll Concession (N3TC).

Jul 2019

South Africa to commence upgrade project of N3 corridor

The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (Sanral) represented by Dumisani Nkabinde, the organization’s Eastern Region manager, has announced its intentions to begin the first major upgrade of South Africa’s N3 corridor.

While repairs to the bridge have been on hold a couple of times, there are hopes from the announcement that construction on the bridge and the road leading to it could resume in the beginning of next year.

N3 corridor

The plan according to Sanral is to widen the road sections and increase the number of lanes where there are only two making them three. The organization shall also build new bridges and install street lights to ensure the corridor is fully lit, giving the road a new look.

Mr. Nkabinde said that they aim to start the project at Ashburton and Phakhathi Interchange in Durban as these stretches of the road have been prone to the biggest traffic challenges.

The project will take approximately 36 months of work. According to Nkabinde, there will be no lane closures during this period. The current two lanes will be accessible by motorists all through.

“We are looking forward to avoiding the stop-and-go road signs as much as we can during the road works. More especially where we shall be widening lanes so as not to course any road inconveniences,” said Nkabinde.

Sanral said that the upgrades are necessary. Otherwise, the day-to-day road users will continue to pay the price of accidents and time delays. More detrimental, they would cost around US$ 11.6M a year.

April 2021

Construction works on the N3 upgrade between Cato Ridge and Dardanelles in South Africa begin

Construction works on the upgrade of the N3, Section 2, from Cato Ridge to Dardanelles in South Africa have begun. Under this 48-month contract, the existing 4-lane dual carriageway will increase to an 8-lane dual carriageway for 6.4km and will significantly increase the capacity of the road.

A road-over rail bridge will extend 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 built alongside the N3 on the southern side between Camperdown Interchange and the existing R103.

According to SANRAL Project Manager, Mohamed Park, this project, which comes at a cost of approximately US $99.1m is necessary by high crash statistics as well as poor conditions of the pavement. The upgrade will increase safety also significantly improve the level of service (LOS) for the next 30 years.

Also Read: Yaoundé-Douala road project phase 1 to be commissioned in Jan 2022

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 on 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 with some restrictions and with traffic control measures in place.

The main upgrading activities on the N3 will commence in June 2021, starting with the widening of the Durban-bound carriageway.

“We appeal to road users to note and comply with the advance warning signs and speed restrictions when traveling past the construction work zones. To prioritize the safety of both the construction workers and road users, the speed limit along the route will be down to 80km/hr during construction. Motorists are encouraged to plan their journeys accordingly, and to make provision for the additional travel time,” said Park.

Reported On Mar 12, 2022

N3 Pietermaritzburg Highway Upgrade Project in South Africa to Commence Soon

The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd or SANRAL, is a South African parastatal responsible for the management, maintenance, and development of South Africa’s proclaimed National Road network. The firm made an announcement that it would commence substantial upgrading work on the N3 Pietermaritzburg highway sooner than per schedule.

The agency said that it will begin implementing a ‘contraflow’ traffic pattern. It features a temporary arrangement in which traffic on the road is from its regular side to share the other half of the carriageway with traffic traveling in the opposite direction. This will be on the N3 highway between Camperdown and Dardanelles.

According to Mohamed Park, South African National Roads Agency’s project manager for the eastern area. Moreover, work on the side-drain construction has surpassed expectations. The switchover to contraflow will be achievable a few days earlier than per schedule.

Plans for the N3 Pietermaritzburg Highway traffic going forward

All traffic for the N3 Pietermaritzburg Highway will reroute onto the new wider road. It lies between Camperdown Interchange and Dardanelles. Traffic on the northbound (Pietermaritzburg bound) road will divert to the temporarily expanded southbound (Durban bound) carriageway at Camperdown Interchange. Thereafter, it’ll route back to the northbound carriageway at Dardanelles (km 26.6) during the night switchover.

Parak said that there will be contraflow conditions on the southbound road between Camperdown Interchange and Dardanelles. It will have concrete barriers separating the two opposing traffic streams. In both directions, two lanes will be available.

Once the traffic on the northbound carriageway receives redirection, the old northbound roadway will be ready. Especially for the entire rebuilding of the new four-lane northbound carriageway. Contraflow conditions are likely to persist until January 2024.

To improve the safety of the construction crew and road users, the speed limit along the route is down to 80km/hr. However, temporary lane closures to allow work on heavily used highways will occur. Although the South African National Roads Agency said that the public makes announcements in advance.

SANRAL’s Projected Timeline for the N3 Pietermaritzburg Highway Upgrades

During the 48-month construction period, 6.4km of the current four-lane dual carriageway will upgrade to an eight-lane dual carriageway. This will be by broadening into the median and outer shoulders. A road-over-rail bridge and many pipe culverts will be expanded to allow the road expansion. Lighting will be throughout the 6.4km section of the road as part of the project.