The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) said on Wednesday that the heavy rainfall experienced in Gauteng over the past two weeks would not impact on the completion of the first phase of its freeway improvement project.

Spokesperson Priya Pillay told Engineering News Online that the first phase of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) remained on track for completion by the end of the year.

This phase included the upgrading of about 185 km of freeway, including pavement rehabilitation, interchange upgrades and land additions on the N1 and N3, sections of the N12 and the R21.

However, Pillay warned motorists that the GFIP had only implemented temporary storm water drainage systems.

“These systems are regularly inspected and maintained but being temporary structures they are not designed to withstand the heavy downpours that Gauteng has been experiencing over the last two weeks resulting in overtopping of some of the road sections,” she added.

Once construction works were completed the required design capacity of the storm water drainage system would be in place. It would be designed for at least a ‘one in 20-year flood’ for smaller storm water drainage structures and at least ‘one in 50 years’ for the larger structures, Pillay said.

She appealed to the public to adhere to speed limits.
PUBLICATION: Engineering News
AUTHOR: Esmarie Swanepoel
DATED: 27th January 2010