Huguenot Tunnel upgrades well underway and on schedule

Western Cape, 27 August 2021 – Huguenot Tunnel upgrades are well underway, with no major spike in traffic volumes in the Du Toits Kloof Pass during the night-time closures, i.e. Monday to Thursday 10pm to 6am.

The potential increase of heavy vehicles going over the pass at night has always been a concern, particularly as incident response in the narrow pass posed multiple challenges and would cause significant delays and congestion, which has a direct impact on the economy.

“Traffic monitoring reports however show a slight decrease in the amount of traffic (both heavy and light motor vehicles) going over the pass during the night-time closures, when compared to the period prior to the commencement of the tunnel closures. This could either indicate that road users have adjusted their travel time or taken an alternative route. Either way, it means our proactive communications are reaching the targeted audiences,” said Mike Vinello-Lippert, SANRAL Project Manager.

With regard to the current maintenance operations, the asphalt overlay of the Eastern Approach road is 85% complete and all indications are that the construction works will be completed on schedule, by 30 September.

The replacement of continuous strip lights, adaptation luminaires at the portals and the lighting control system is also making steady progress. Old fluorescent and high- pressure sodium luminaires are being replaced with new more energy efficient LED fittings while additional adaptation luminaires are installed at both portals to ensure compliance with international best practice for the entrance zone lighting.

With the night-time closures, SANRAL has taken the opportunity to replace the outdated existing fire detection systems in the Huguenot Tunnel with modern systems which comply with local and international standards and best practice. The works include the detail design, manufacture, supply, delivery, installation, testing and commissioning of the tunnel fire detection systems.

“We are incredibly pleased with the progress made, and even more grateful to our road users for their continued cooperation and patience during this project. We look forward to completing these upgrade works and providing a much-improved road user experience. We believe that the safety improvements will go a long way to meeting world-class standards,” said Randall Cable, SANRAL Western Region Manager.

Road users are reminded of the variety of alternative routes which include Paarl – DuToit’s Kloof Pass – Worcester (±62 km), Paarl – Gouda – Tulbagh – Worcester (±121 km) or Wellington – Tulbagh – Ceres (± 74 km.) Depending on origin and destination, the N2 Grabouw to Villiersdorp (41 km) is also an option should they need to travel on a Monday to Thursday between 10pm and 6am.