Sanral enlists experts to assess massive N1 sinkhole in Centurion
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Pretoria - The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) has enlisted the services of experts to assess the massive sinkhole along the N1 in Centurion.
The sinkhole appeared on the road on Saturday night and resulted in the closure of one lane. Traffic police were deployed to manage the traffic flow.
Yesterday, motorists driving in the section of the highway complained about sitting in traffic for hours.
However, Tshwane metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said only the left lane was closed, so traffic flow had not been affected that much.
Sanral said it had closed the N1 south just before Botha Avenue and near the flying saucer, as a precautionary measure.
“A team of engineers and a routine road maintenance contractor had been dispatched to assess the situation in order to develop and implement a mitigation plan,” it said.
And as traffic increased with more people returning to work yesterday, it moved at a snail’s pace near the cordoned-off area.
The City of Tshwane, Sanral and the technicians said they had no idea when the hole would be fixed.
Several sinkholes have emerged in the Centurion area over the years.
City of Tshwane spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said the presence of dolomite, most probably activated by heavy rains, was the reason behind the appearance and formation of sinkholes across Centurion.
Meanwhile, three vehicles were swept off or trapped on flooded low-water bridges around Tshwane over the weekend.
Two vehicles were trapped on the low-water bridge in Rabie and End streets on Friday between 9.30pm and midnight. Tshwane Emergency Services Department members were called to assist.
In a separate incident, a Toyota Avanza was swept off a water bridge in Olievenhoutbosch.
The occupants of the vehicles escaped unharmed. The vehicles were recovered the following morning.
Tshwane Emergency Services spokesperson Charles Mabaso said that they have made repeated calls to motorists to avoid attempting to cross flooded low water bridges as motorists were putting their and their passengers’ lives at risk and cause damage to or loss of their vehicles.
“The South African Weather Service, as at the beginning of the summer, forecast a season with more rain than normal, and as such we encourage residents to remain vigilant and follow regular weather forecasts," Mabaso said.
Various parts of South Africa have been experiencing heavy rainfall.
Last month, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society issued a La Niña advisory in which it said South Africa was set to receive more rain than expected over the summer.