Protecting pedestrians a priority for SANRAL

New pavements have been constructed along the N2 in George, allowing pedestrians safe passage.

A key element of the construction was the use of local labour.

Residents of Thembalethu, Pacaltsdorp, Lawaaikamp and Ballotsview in George, Western Cape, can now walk safely alongside the busy N2 road.

The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) recently unveiled brand new, safer walkways that stretch about eight kilometres along the N2 between the York Street Interchange and the Garden Route Mall.

A new pedestrian bridge has also been constructed, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to cross the railway line at Meul River in safety.

Pedestrians are the most vulnerable group of all road users, “and safety is a big priority for SANRAL,” said the manager for the Western Region, Kobus van der Walt. “Approximately 40% of all deaths on South African roads are pedestrians.”

To ensure pedestrians do not cross the busy freeway, a 2m-high welded-mesh fence has been erected along the N2, separating the pathways from the road. The fence also stops stray animals from wandering onto the freeway, which has been a cause for concern.

A key element of the construction was the use of local labour. “This project had the added advantage of providing employment to many people from the George area,” said Van der Walt.

Manual labour was used to build the pathways. The rolling terrain made the project more labour intensive, as heavy construction vehicles could not operate on the steep slopes.

The targeted spend on small, medium and micro enterprises for the project was R24.3-million. In addition, R12.2-million was allocated for labour costs.

Upgrading the Pacaltsdorp Diamond Interchange

The Pacaltsdorp Diamond Interchange project included the widening of both the existing Pacaltsdorp Interchange bridge and the two-lane York and Beach Roads, which were converted to a dual carriageway, a four-lane road with turning lanes at both ramp terminals.

Sidewalks were also constructed, along with a traffic median island.

Existing asphalt surfacing was rehabilitated, traffic signals relocated, road signage and markings replaced and street lights added.

The Pacaltsdorp Diamond Interchange upgrade was a joint project between SANRAL, the Western Cape provincial government and the George Municipality. SANRAL contributed 50% towards the project, with the provincial government and the municipality contributing 40% and 10% respectively.