The eThekwini (Durban) municipality has budgeted R22,5-million for improved road signs to ensure better traffic management ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, BuaNews reports. The 2010 host city has already placed new road signage and traffic logging equipment along the Inkosi Albert Luthuli and Ruth First freeways, between Umhlanga, in the north, and the Durban International Airport, in the south, as the first phase of the project by the eThekwini Transport Authority (ETA). The signage consists of steel billboard-type structures which will accommodate large electronic message signs, that will display warning messages to motorists. Carlos Esteves, roads systems manager at ETA, said the traffic logging equipment and variable message signs would be linked to the city’s traffic control room.

“This is where traffic operating speeds and patterns will be monitored using traffic simulation software that predicts congestion to allow suitable messages to be displayed on the signs.” Warnings of congestion, accidents and other incidents further ahead on the freeway will be displayed. This, he added, would assist motorists in deciding on alternative routes when necessary. Traffic logging equipment will precede each sign and next to it will be a CCTV camera for monitoring the whole section of the freeway. Esteves explains that ETA had begun erecting gantry structures for message signs, saying that these were now visible at the airport and on Edwin Swales drive. “The monitoring and world-class logging equipment will not be immediately obvious because it is typically concealed under the road surface,” he said.