Due to the length and estimated cost of the N2 and N3 upgrades, the strategy is to split the corridor into several detailed design and construction packages.
The upgrades of the N2 and N3 in KwaZulu-Natal form part of the national government’s key Strategic Integrated Projects, SIP2: Durban-Free State-Gauteng Logistics and Industrial Corridor.
The upgrade of the N2 will focus on a 55km length of the route, from Lovu River on the South Coast, to Umdloti on the North Coast.
The N3 upgrade will focus on an 80km section from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.
These upgrades will include the widening of the N2 and N3 carriageways, with four to five lanes in each direction, and the reconfiguration of most major interchanges along these route sections.
Ravi Ronny, SANRAL Eastern Region Design and Construction Manager, said due to the length and estimated cost of the entire N2 and N3 upgrades, the strategy is to split the corridor into several detailed design and construction packages.
The stimulus package
Upgrading of the N2 and N3 is expected to take between five to eight years. President Cyril Ramaphosa recently introduced the “stimulus package” as a new measure “to reignite growth, stimulate economic recovery and secure confidence in sectors affected by regulatory uncertainty and inconsistency”.
Projects earmarked for the stimulus package will be funded from the existing budget envelope with R50-billion already identified by the government for infrastructure projects nationally.
SANRAL’s allocation from the total stimulus package is some R3.5-billion, which will be used to initiate the SIP2 projects over the next two years.
Two N2 project packages and five N3 project packages, identified as critical areas, were allocated the stimulus funding accordingly.
The stimulus funding for these project packages has, therefore, assisted in the fast-tracking of the commencement of these projects.
The first N2/N3 construction package is now expected to be awarded by the end of 2019.