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Joburg to repair bridges, sort out potholes

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The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) is embarking on the rehabilitation, reconstruction and repairs to six bridges across the city following heavy rainfall and flash flooding in early January.

The City of Joburg transport member of the mayoral committee, Nonhlanhla Makhuba, said: “In the past few years, Joburg has experienced a number of incidents of severe weather conditions resulting in heavy rains and flooding of low-lying areas. This has not only had a devastating impact on low-income communities where lives and possessions have been lost, but we have also seen devastation to our road infrastructure, vehicles and even road users.

“We understand that a well-maintained road infrastructure is essential for economic growth and, as part of the city’s risk mitigation strategies, six listed bridges have been prioritised to ensure public safety, safe and reliable access for the community and protection of biodiversity.”

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The City of Joburg has allocated an additional R88 million to fix potholes. File picture: Neil Baynes / Independent Media.

JRA managing director Sean Phillips said the upgrades were motivated by flood impact assessments carried after heavy rainfall, which assessed the extent of damage and impact or associated risk to life, limb and property.

“Site visits indicated the need for emergency rehabilitation, reconstruction and repairs of six bridges. The extent of damage is estimated at R113.5 million. The affected bridges are Belgrave, Joe Nhlanhla, Cork Avenue, Bridge Road, Spring Road and 432 Modderfontein Road. Motorists and pedestrians are advised to use alternative routes.

“In keeping with JRA’s service delivery improvement plan, we are fast-tracking these six bridge repair projects and construction has been scheduled for July, with the exception of Cork Avenue Bridge where construction is already under way.”

The bridges are: 432 Modderfontein Road bridge, Spring Road bridge, Joe Nhlanhla Street bridge, Cork Avenue bridge, Bridge Road bridge and Bryanston's Belgrave bridge.

More money set aside to fix city's potholes

Furthermore, the City of Joburg has allocated an additional R88 million to the JRA)to repair potholes. Of that, R60m will be for material and R28m for extra staff.

“Our roads have been neglected for many years and most are in need of either complete redoing or resurfacing,” councillor Tim Truluck said.

He said potholes and road defects were divided into four categories, depending on the damage:

Patching: The tar has started lifting, cracking and delaminating. If it gets fixed at this stage, potholes won’t develop.

Potholes: The tar has lifted or disintegrated and the stones/material beneath it are exposed. Water and vehicles will quickly start creating a hole.

Pothole rash/large pot- holes: Once a pothole starts, it is often followed by more. Water, vehicles and stones from the first pothole, along with the failing surface, often cause more potholes. A much larger pothole usually develops.

Reinstatements: This is when Johannesburg Water has fixed a water leak or a fibre company has left an empty, or earth-filled hole or trench in the road or pavement, for example.

Truluck said residents should log every pothole they see.

He said he wants the pavements repaired too because, for many years, the JRA had not touched them and they were in a bad state.

The holes should be reported via email [email protected], the Look and Log JRA App or @myjra on Twitter.

Residents should not use the City of Joburg call centre as it doesn’t use the same system as the JRA, so many logged issues don’t make it to the entity. 

People should log every pothole, or each cluster, or stretch of street separately. Always include the address and nearest street corner.

The Star

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