The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) this week announced that construction on the M1 freeway’s Oxford and Federation bridges is set to enter its final stage from early May with a lane switch-over and new traffic implications for road users.
JRA managing director Sean Phillips said the R127 million project was now 75% complete, with the majority of fill and stabilisation of underground conditions completed on the south-bound section.
“The application of protective coatings is also under way and work will now move to the north-bound section of the M1, necessitating a switch-over of lanes, and further traffic disruptions should be expected.”
Vehicles that exit at the Oxford Road off-ramp during the morning peak hour would be affected during this last phase of the construction programme, as the Oxford Road off-ramp on the northbound carriageway would be closed, Phillips said.
Prior to the start of construction, about 5300 vehicles travelled northbound and 5800 travelled on the southbound section during peak hours.
This indicated a 23% reduction in the northbound direction and 19% reduction southbound during the morning peak, showing that drivers had found alternative routes.
City of Joburg member of the mayoral committee for transport Nonhlanhla Makhuba said drivers had displayed patience and courtesy while driving in the construction zone. Now that the countdown to completion had started, they should apply extra caution and reduce speeds on the roads, she added.
“We are extremely grateful to drivers who have responded positively to the rehabilitation construction over the past year by adjusting their travel times and traffic patterns, making use of alternative routes and also public transport.”
There will be some traffic implications from the beginning of May: two lanes in each direction (northbound) will remain open on the M1; the Ettrick Road on-ramp (southbound) will reopen; and the Oxford Road off-ramp (northbound) will be closed.