Joburg freeway to re-open

Johannesburg – The City of Johannesburg has confirmed that repairs on the M2 highway would be completed by the end of October.

  The city introduced the emergency project in August 2018. The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) started the R158m repairs to sections of the highway after an assessment revealed that structural integrity of the concrete elements was severely reduced.

  The motorway, which was closed to traffic at the end of February, cost the city nearly R160m to refurbish. The M2, one of the city’s main motorways, links the N3 and M1 with the city and the western parts of the city.

  The closure of the M2 Highway had major effects on Joburg traffic and caused peak-hour congestion on both the M1 south and north. Commuters making their way to and from the east of Joburg had to increase their travel time, causing much reliance on the N3 and N12.

  City spokesperson Tony Taverna-Turisan said a ceremony will be held to mark this occasion. “An operational plan will be announced and rolled out over the week to ensure the motorway is fully operational come 4 November.”

  The M2 will be reopened to traffic on November 4.

  Four months ago JRA spokesperson Zoleka Jika said a quarter of the work had been done since the bridge between Crown Interchange and Maritzburg Street was closed in February.

  At the time she said the demolition of the failed bridge structural elements was 90% complete, and the installation of a screw-jack system at Selby Bridge had been completed.

  The highway closure has affected businesses in the Joburg CBD, particularly banks which had to increase security measures.

  Absa spokesperson Phumza Macanda said the bank increased the number of security guards around the CBD.

  “The closure increased congestion as it forced people to use roads in the CBD, where they found themselves stuck in traffic, which gave an opportunity to criminals. We observed an increase in smash-and-grab incidents and attempted hijackings reported by colleagues,” she said.

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