DURBAN - A SINKHOLE that recently formed on the N3 near Hammarsdale/ Peacevale (Key Ridge) and caused major delays on the key route has been repaired.
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport confirmed late yesterday on its Facebook page that repairs had been completed.
“We are pleased to announce that the N3 sinkhole on the southbound before the M13 off-ramp has been successfully repaired. At exactly 6.30pm today the road was fully opened with the first vehicle passing through.”
The department also commended the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) engineering team for working hard throughout the weekend.
Sanral was forced to close two lanes while assessment and repairs commenced last week, leading to heavy traffic congestion.
Dudley Mbambo, Sanral’s Eastern Region Operations and Maintenance manager said on Friday that two lanes, including the shoulder lane, had been cordoned off with barriers to effect repairs.
Mbambo added that the sinkhole was a result of the torrential rains that the province had in April.
Gavin Kelly, CEO of the Road Freight Association (RFA) said delays had been caused by the closure of two lanes on the N3 due to the collapse of the road surface.
“This has resulted (at times) in queues forming, but generally flow continued without too much disruption.
“Safe and well-maintained roads are extremely important to the economy of the country – and the N3 is the major corridor of many of our neighbours to the north. It is of crucial strategic importance that we repair both the road and the confidence of those who use South Africa as a logistics route.”
AK Neerpath, CEO of freight company Jetrans Transport, said that the sinkhole on the N3 did affect business as they had to use alternative routes. Neerpath welcomed the repairs. “It has been very difficult because there was major traffic congestion and two lanes were closed with only one lane open for motorists and trucks.
“It’s good to hear that Sanral has repaired the sinkhole.”
Professor Irrshad Kaseeram, deputy dean of research at the University of Zululand’s economics department, said that there would have been an economic impact caused by the traffic congestion on the N3.
KZN Transport Department’s spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said the repair work had been carried out with urgency.
“We as the Department of Transport, with Sanral, are addressing the matter of damaged roads as a matter of urgency. We also ask motorists to lower their speed and drive with caution.”