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LOOK: Sinkhole forms on N3 a month after heavy rains and flooding in KZN

The sinkhole formed on the N3 south-bound after the Key Ridge Interchange. | Facebook/KZN Department of Transport

The sinkhole formed on the N3 south-bound after the Key Ridge Interchange. | Facebook/KZN Department of Transport

Published May 12, 2022

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Durban - A sinkhole on the N3 south-bound is causing major traffic congestion from Peacevale to the Hammarsdale interchange, announced the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (Sanral).

Sanral said the sinkhole formed on the N3 south-bound after the Key Ridge Interchange.

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The sinkhole was caused by torrential rains experienced in KwaZulu-Natal last month, which caused soil erosion underneath.

Sanral eastern region operations and maintenance manager, Dudley Mbambo said: “Two lanes, including the shoulder lane, have been cordoned off with barriers and only one traffic lane is open. The sinkhole is causing major traffic congestion from Peacevale to the Hammarsdale interchange.

“Motorists are advised to approach Key Ridge Interchange cautiously and plan their trips accordingly. Our engineers are on scene to assess the situation and start with repair works,” Mbambo said.

On Tuesday, the KZN Department of Transport said Key Ridge will be closed to one lane. Motorists should expect major traffic delays.

“Lane closure has been implemented. Please be aware of this if travelling in that vicinity and add extra time to your travel plans,” the department said.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, Sanral said that Section 24 of the N2 north-bound carriageway between Umzinto and Umgababa, which was closed as a result of flooding in April, was set to reopen.

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Sanral eastern region design and construction manager Ravi Ronny said: “The far-left lane on the of the N2 on the northern carriageway collapsed and settled by over a metre and moved down the embankment. This resulted in a serious safety issue, hence the closure of this section. As a short-term measure, traffic has deviated to the provincial network to the R197 and R102.”

Speaking during the walkabout on the N2 recently, Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula said that his department and the provincial government will contribute R5 billion towards the repairs on the road infrastructure in the province.

“On April 18, 2022, on declaring the national state of disaster, President Ramaphosa designated Sanral as the lead agency to lead the extensive work required to repair roads in the province, starting with an immediate focus on the N2 and N3 freeways. Since then, Sanral has worked with the provincial and municipal authorities in KwaZulu-Natal to advance the rebuilding and rehabilitation work required to restore normality to the lives of the people in the province,” Mbalula said.

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To get the traffic back on the road again, a temporary lane is being constructed to get the north-bound carriageway reopened. This will assist in further investigations and getting contractors onto the site to start the construction by the end of May. Construction is estimated to take between six to eight months for the section to be completed.

“When the contractors get on-site, they will remove the sunken part of the road and work from the bottom up to the top. Generally, these contracts take between 12 and 15 months, but we will have an accelerated programme to try and finish in as short a time period as possible,” said Ronny.

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