Your travels on the N1 freeway between Gauteng and Cape Town should be mostly trouble-free during the Easter holiday – Friday 14 to Monday 17 April.
According to the South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL), this is traditionally a period when there is a rapid spike in traffic on most major national and provincial highways.
Historically, peak traffic times are mostly on the Thursday before the long weekend or Easter Monday. Thus, going toward Cape Town on the N1 congestion will be experienced at the Huguenot Tunnel on the day before Good Friday and, going northwards, again on Easter Monday.
These are the expected peak travel times barring any unforeseen major traffic incidents or weather conditions.
The introduction of automated pay systems at toll plazas on the busiest national highways connecting Gauteng with the rest of the country is improving traffic flows and contributing to safer journeys.
Vusi Mona, SANRAL’s communications manager, said: “One tag lifts all booms at plazas where the automated payment system is already in place.”
It enables motorists to plan their travel in advance, cuts down on waiting time at plazas and reduces the levels of driver fatigue and frustrations during long journeys.
“This, again, demonstrates how SANRAL’s investments in cutting-edge technology and smart road systems are contributing to a safer road environment,” said Mona.
Expected road works
Construction work during peak hour traffic will be limited and no journeys on any of the major highways will be delayed by more than 20 minutes due to road building activities.
Major construction on the N1 is being undertaken in the Free State. Parts of the road are being upgraded between Bloemfontein and Kroonstad.
- Upgrades along Sydenham Interchange and Glen Lyon are in progress until May 2017. No stop-go is in place.
- Upgrades between Winburg and Winburg Station have commenced. As a result, road closures will be experienced due to blasting operations.
- Construction works between Ventersburg and Holfontein as well as Holfontein and Kroonstad are in progress. Traffic is free-flowing; however, motorists are advised to proceed with caution while obeying posted traffic signs.
- Upgrades of a section between Trompsburg and Fonteintjie are in progress along the N1 from the Orange River to Bloemfontein. Traffic will be diverted onto deviations with no stop-go controls at both ends of the project. These upgrades are expected to continue until June 2017.
A rehabilitation contract between Kroonstad South and Westleigh is in progress. Traffic is free-flowing with a lane open in each direction.
Misgund Soweto to Grand Central/ Olifantsfontein Interchange is undergoing routine maintenance, but there should be no stoppages. In addition, the route between the Grand Central/Olifantsfontein Interchange to the Proefplaas N4 Interchange will undergo routine maintenance, while bridge repairs along the N1/N4 Proefplaas Interchange will result in lane reductions.
Motorist are warned that there is heavy pedestrian activity from the Vaal River on the N1 to Misgund Soweto. Additional street lighting has been installed at the Ennerdale Interchange.
Further south on the N1, a compulsory stop will be in place about five kilometres to the south of Touws River on the stretch between Rawsonville and Laingsburg. Minor construction work is also undertaken at various other locations in the Karoo. In addition, an unmanned compulsory stop for heavy vehicles is in operation on the south-bound carriageway in the Hex River Pass.
Mona calls on road users to obey speed limits and slow down at demarcated areas where temporary construction might take place.
SANRAL is taking great care to prevent pedestrians or stray animals from entering the freeway network but road users are cautioned to adjust their speed especially during night times.
He said: “The national and provincial road network is a safe environment and if drivers stick to the rules of the road and display tolerance and courtesy towards fellow road users, we should be able to cut down on the unacceptably high rate of fatal crashes.
“Driving requires focus. If you are tired, take a break; do not text and drive. Know your WHOA!”