‘New roads lead to better traffic flow’ said our headline in the March 2008 issue of the City’s monthly newspaper, CityNews.
Cape Town motorists are going to have to suffer short-term pain for long-term gain, we explained, as we all endure a series of planned roadworks aimed at significantly improving the city’s transport infrastructure ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
And now it’s 2010 – almost two years later. And that short-term pain was not only nowhere near as painful as we feared it would be, but now it’s over, at least for those of us who got used to squeezing through Hospital Bend.
The new routes – inbound and outbound – will be opened in two phases during March 2010, but finishing work will continue for about a month afterwards.
Bertie Byker, Head: Operations Integration, Roads & Stormwater, reminds us that one of the most important elements of the work was the accommodation of traffic. “Road users were hardly inconvenienced during construction,” he says, “and everything, the sequence of execution, available work areas and methods of construction (using overhead gantries) was determined for road users’ convenience.
“The only times that lanes were closed or restricted was during nighttime off-peaks.”
Hospital Bend is an important link between the CBD and airport as well as the residential area of Khayelitsha.
The Hospital Bend Interchange upgrade included the following key elements:
- Rhodes Drive (M3) inbound was widened on the left-hand side, creating an extra lane before the N2 merge
- A pre-selection lane from the M3 (inbound) to Hospital Bend was created, which included the widening of the bridge over Settlers Way and upgrading of the M3 to N2 outbound loop all on new alignments
- The N2 inbound was provided with an extra lane (third lane) and the vertical re-alignment of the N2 underneath the bridge to provide an acceptable vertical clearance
- Hospital Bend to M3 outbound lane was widened
- A new overpass bridge for Anzio Road on-ramp towards Cape Town
- A new pre-selection lane from Upper De Waal Drive (M3) to Hospital Bend (outbound) was constructed, which included new bridge across the westbound (inbound) carriageway
- Upgraded signage, barrier walls and other guard rails
- Resurfacing, new street lights, upgrading of the stormwater system, and landscaping within the road reserve
The total project budget was R263 million (excluding VAT), and it is expected that the work will be completed soon, within budget and on time.