M2 highway open to traffic
Johannesburg - Motorists who have had to sit on heavy traffic to and from work due to the closure of the M2 highway as it underwent rehabilitation can now breath a sigh of relief as it will be open from Monday.
For the past eight months as the bridge was closed, motorists had to find alternatives routes, clogging the back routes that hardly experience heavy traffic.
The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) closed the highway between Crown Interchange and Maritzburg Street on February 28 due to concerns over it's structural integrity.
JRA at the time said the closure was necessitated by the continuous monitoring and the bridge visual conditions assessment which indicated that the structural integrity of the concrete elements was severely reduced. The agency said it had realised that parts of the support structure had moved. That, it said, was affecting the structural stability of some bridges on the M2 highway.
"The safety of the Selby bridge cannot be guaranteed for continuous use by motorists and thus the decision for a closure of the M2 between Crown Interchange and Maritzburg street is necessary
"The safety of motorists and road users is of utmost importance and concern to the JRA, hence the urgent decision for the closure, the agency said at the time.
Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba had indicated that at least 78.38% of the bridges in the City were in a poor or very poor condition and that only 5.77% of bridges were in an acceptable condition which meet the 80% minimum overall acceptable condition indices for bridges.
The City of Joburg has 902 bridges that are maintained and managed by the JRA. Since 2013, 37 bridges have collapsed during raining seasons.
"Since coming into office, I have been concerned about the massive infrastructure backlog which was allowed to accumulate within the city,"
"Indeed, previous administrations allowed for a R6,5 billion backlog in our bridge infrastructure. In a survey conducted in 2017, 3,900km of our road network fell into the poor or very poor condition," he said.