Good progress is being made on the N2 Wild Coast Toll Road (N2WCTR) project with various work packages and activity streams for the greenfields section going ahead in the first two quarters of the 2016/17 financial year.
According to Craig McLachlan, project manager for the N2WCTR, activities so far this year focused on the procurement of service providers for engineering work packages of the greenfields portion of the road, stakeholder consultation, SMME outreaches, training and development, and land acquisition.
“Importantly, we plan to break ground in November this year with the construction of the service roads to the bridge sites,” he said.
A key feature of the N2WCTR project will be two architectural landmarks for the rural Wild Coast landscape in the form of two mega bridges – part of the greenfields portion of the road – over the Mtentu and Msikaba river gorges.
Pre-qualified bidders for the mega-bridges were taken on a site visit to the Mtentu and Msikaba River gorges as part of preparation for the submission of their bids. The closing date for the proposals is 12 December 2016, and SANRAL will appoint the service provider in 2017.
Construction of the two mega bridges will begin early in 2017.
Service road must be built to enable the appointed service providers to access the bridge sites. SANRAL appointed two service providers in October to build the 19 kilometre haul roads to the construction locations of the Mtentu and Msikaba sites. Construction of the service roads is due to start this month.
In July, SMMEs and businesses from the surrounding towns, communities and villages had an opportunity to engage SMME support agencies and businesses together with SANRAL. The meeting focused on the opportunities before, during and after construction of the N2WCTR and the programmes and commercial products available to assist them.
A community development programme for a group of 32 participants from the communities of Flagstaff, Lusikisiki and Port St. Johns kicked off in August. The 18-month programme comprises training in entrepreneurship, engineering, tendering and general life skills. Following the completion of the programme, the participants will be involved in delivering community access roads.
ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: SEARCH & RESCUE MISSIONS
On the environmental front, ‘search and rescue missions’ will take place before construction of any section of the project. These missions are scheduled between September 2016 and February 2017. SANRAL has appointed a service provider with botanical and conservation expertise to implement aspects of the environmental management plan for the N2WCTR. The service provider will be responsible for ‘search and rescue’, horticultural and rehabilitation services of threatened, protected and rare plant species.