The upgrade of the intersections to traffic circles will go a long way to improve the safety and ultimately reduce vehicle accidents.
After just over one year of construction, Kimberley boasts a completed road safety upgrade at three major intersections that were upgraded to traffic circles.
These intersections, which all cross the R31 coming into Kimberley, are the N12 from Hopetown, the N8 from Griekwastad and the R357 from Douglas, and were identified with a view to reduce the number of serious and fatal motor vehicle accidents that have occurred over the years, and ultimately improve the safety for all road users.
The project, which started with construction in August 2017, was completed in October 2018, leaving three new traffic circles with pedestrian facilities and bus shelters.
Petronella Theron, SANRAL Project Manager, said: “Particularly on the R31, vehicles had to come to a complete stop when crossing the N12, which had free-flowing traffic. Often motorists on the R31 mistook the intersection for a four-way crossing, resulting in them turning into oncoming traffic, with serious and sometimes fatal consequences.
“The upgrade of the intersections to traffic circles will go a long way to improve the safety and ultimately reduce motor vehicle accidents.”
According to Assistant Resident Engineer, Joubert Swanepoel, the main objective of a traffic circle is to reduce the incoming approach speed, reduce the angles of conflict between vehicles, and, ultimately, reduce the severity of accidents when they do occur.
The project had a budget of R115-million, of which R33-million was spent on SMME contractor development.
“This project connected scores of SMMEs with economic and developmental opportunities that had a significant impact on the regional economy,” said Pieter Muller of Taupele Construction.
Furthermore, 169 locals and 17 skilled workers from outside the district benefited from work opportunities over the past year since construction has been underway.
Maria Mooketsi, owner of Onkabetse Civils and Mining, is one of the SMMEs on this site.
She expressed huge gratitude for being granted the opportunity to work, learn, grow and develop under the mentorship of Taupele Construction, while providing work opportunities to 10 others.
“We looked at various options for road safety upgrades and, in the end, converting the intersections to traffic circles was the most viable option. Road safety remains a key priority for SANRAL and where we can deliver road transport solutions that aid and improve overall safety we are determined to do so,” concluded Theron.