The project has presented the area with an excellent opportunity for local SMME development, and the creation of employment opportunities for the area’s population.
Once completed, the existing simple diamond interchange at Hammarsdale will be an upgraded semi-parclo (partial clover leaf), free–flow interchange.
This upgraded interchange will accommodate the increased volume of traffic resulting from the development of the area as a distribution node for freight logistics companies, including the 152ha Keystone Park industrial precinct.
The national and provincial importance of the Hammarsdale Interchange stems from its location on the N3 between the eThekwini and Msunduzi municipalities, its proximity to the rail line linking Gauteng to the Durban harbour, and the proposed inland container terminal at Cato Ridge.
To fast-track construction of the interchange, SANRAL entered into a co-funding partnership with the eThekwini Municipality to share the R276-million cost of the project. Stefanutti Stocks (Pty) Ltd were appointed in 2016 to undertake the construction of the new interchange.
The planned upgrades include the construction of six new on and off ramps.
The improved geometry of these ramps demands significant cuttings into the existing ridges, requiring the regular blasting activities that have become familiar to frequent travellers along the route.
A new five-lane lane overpass bridge with a precast beam deck and slab has been constructed to replace the existing bridge, which will be demolished once the ramps have been completed.
The new bridge was erected across both carriageways of the N3 in a record four days by using a large crane to lift and place 46 beams, each weighing 37 tons, over two consecutive weekends.
Once the interchange has been completed, lighting will be installed to ensure the whole intersection is lit at night for increased safety of both pedestrians and motorists.
The project has presented the area with an excellent opportunity for local SMME development, and the creation of employment opportunities for the area’s largely unemployed population.
Additional emphasis has been placed on training local labourers, ranging from generic skills training to NQF level training courses.
The upgrade of the interchange was scheduled for completion in November 2018 but has not been without complications and delays.
Construction activities were interrupted for an extended period in 2018 by local business forums, extending the expected construction period to mid-August 2019.