By Kaya 959 Reporter
Travel time between Gauteng and Durban is expected to be drastically reduced once the upgrade of the N3 is completed.
Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille on Thursday conducted an oversight visit to get an update on the multi-billion Rand project.
Implemented by the SANRAL, the N3 upgrade forms an integral part of the government’s Strategic Integrated Projects as part of the Durban-Free State-Gauteng Logistics and Industrial Corridor.
“It aims to strengthen the logistics and transport corridor between South Africa’s main industrial hubs, improve access to Durban’s export and import facilities and raise efficiency along the corridor. It is the busiest road freight corridor in South Africa with over seventy million tons of freight per annum transported by road,” De Lille said.
Shorten turnaround times
She said the upgrade to the N3 should alleviate congestion on roads around the port and on the crucial N3 corridor which links the port of Durban and Gauteng.
De Lille said it should shorten turnaround times for freight-carrying vehicles, reduce accidents and increase profitability and contribute to economic growth.
The project entails upgrading the existing 4-lane dual carriageway to an 8-lane dual carriageway by widening to the median and outer shoulders over a distance of 6.4km.
She said the SANRAL Board approved the award of the construction contract in November 2020 and work on site started in April.. The contract period is 51 months and is scheduled to complete on 12 April 2025.
De Lille said current work includes widening of the N3 median, piling in the median for the future Camperdown Interchange pier, temporary pavement maintenance on the N3 and local roads, installation of temporary concrete barriers to protect the works and earthworks for the fill widenings.
The project value is approximately R1, 4billion of which R82.5m has been spent to date.