The Mount Edgecombe Interchange will contribute towards easing traffic congestion and promote road safety, says Transport Minister Blade Nzimande.
The Minister officially launched the Mount Edgecombe Interchange, a vital artery of the greater eThekwini Metropolitan highway system, on Tuesday, in Durban.
“The new four-level interchange facility provides at least two lanes on each of the major movements. The upgrade includes the implementation of directional ramps, eliminating the need for controlled signalling, thus ensuring free flow of traffic in all directions,” Nzimande said.
A pedestrian bridge has been constructed over the N2 and will connect to new footways.
In addition, lighting has been installed to ensure the whole interchange is lit at night for increased safety.
“Two incrementally launched bridges are part of the interchange upgrade. One bridge which is 948 meters long – the longest incrementally launched bridge in South Africa – joins the Mount Edgecombe side of the M41 with the N2 South. The other bridge is 440 meters long and joins the uMhlanga side of the M41 with the N2 North.
“The 948 meters bridge has 23 piers and two abutments and was built from two ends – one portion launched on a curve and the other on a straight,” the Minister said.
He said the project engaged 80 designers at the peak of the design phase.
“The improvement of roads has knock-on effects – it helps to develop Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) and create jobs.
The maximum number of persons employed at a time by the Mount Edgecombe Interchange contractor and sub-contractors was 803 of which 724 were from the eThekwini target area, with a total of R240 million spent on wages to date,” the Minister said.
A total of 31 sub-contractors have been employed with work to the value of R59 million performed by 21 SMMEs to date.