Durban - The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) will need almost R15 billion within the next five years to upgrade the N3 between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, it emerged on Monday.
The agency had earmarked R14.9bn to upgrade the N3 between Cedara, about 20km north of Pietermaritzburg, and Durban, Sanral design and construction divisional manager Ravi Ronny said.
The upgrade would exclude a planned proposed Pietermaritzburg ring road and rerouting the N3 near Hammarsdale.
“The issue is funding and how we move on that,” he said.
Design work was under way.
A second phase of improving the N3, intended for completion by 2027, included the proposed Pietermaritzburg ring road and the Hammarsdale rerouting and would cost an additional R15.8bn.
The proposed De Beers Pass route, which would bypass Harrismith, would not be built by Sanral, but by the N3 Toll Concession, which operates the N3 between Cedara and Heidelberg in Gauteng.
He said the proposed De Beers Pass route would cut 14km from the Johannesburg-Durban trip and be safer than the existing Van Reenen's Pass route.
The De Beers Pass would cost an estimated R4.5bn to build. - Sapa