PICS: John Ross highway collapse to cause major traffic delays

By ARTHI GOPI Time of article published Aug 26, 2017

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Durban - Richards Bay motorists can expect long traffic delays after the collapse of a section of the John Ross Highway.

The two eastbound lanes of the highway from Empangeni to Richards Bay collapsed into a massive sinkhole during rush-hour traffic.

The collapse is just before the Mondi intersection.

Now motorists will have to find different routes around the damaged road. The department of transport has “humbly apologised” for the expected traffic congestion.

Spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said a portion of the road collapsed and a team of experts will be on site this morning.

“We have assigned a team of engineers and officials to investigate the cause of the collapse and advise on temporary measures while the road is fixed. We humbly apologise to the surrounding communities who use the road, as there will be congestion,” he said.

Mike Patterson, vice-chairman of the SA Roads Federation’s Empangeni region, said they believed the collapse could be due to parts of the culvert being washed away.

“The freeway is only three years old. Right now we are worried about the integrity of the other two lanes as the culvert goes under the whole road. Traffic has been backing up and there have been several accidents already. Motorists will be affected as deviations on their route can add several more kilometres to the journey,” he said.

Nick Dollman, Netcare911 spokesperson, said: “The incident occurred about 200m from the Mondi traffic lights, blocking traffic that was travelling from Empangeni toward Richards Bay. A female driver of a white car was very fortunate to pass over the remaining edge as the road collapsed. Her rear wheel was badly damaged and other motorists help her to change it. 

“One of our off-duty paramedics who was also stuck in the traffic attended to two motorists who had collided in an attempt to avoid the collapsed road. Fortunately neither were injured.”

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