p>Far South residents are still feeling a bit pale and wan after the completion of eight months of stop-go traffic between Clovelly and Kalk Bay, but here comes the next batch of roadworks.
At an information session at the King of Kings Baptist church, Sunnydale, on Wednesday September 21, the City and their consulting engineers, HHO Consulting, displayed their plans for the R171m project which they say will ease congestion along parts of Kommetjie Road and Buller Louw Drive, as well as some other intersection changes.
The project is to start at the end of October and is expected to take two and a half years. Martin & East, who have been busy on the Main Road reconstruction project, will be the constructing engineers on this project.
There will be no stop-goes.
“The contractor is obliged to ensure that the current road capacity along Kommetjie Road and Ou Kaapse Weg is maintained at all times and for as long as the project continues. In practice this means that commuters will have access to the same number of lanes during the construction period as they have available right now,” said Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport.
Construction will first start at the intersection of Silvermine Road and Ou Kaapse Weg which will be widened, the road flattened to improve sighting distance.
This is expected to take six to 12 months.
Also starting in October will be the relocation of existing services along the roads. Among the services to be upgraded or relocated are underwater mains, electrical cables and ducting for fibre-optic cables, as well as the fibre-optic cables. Eventually 500 trees will be planted and benches and streetlighting installed as part of the landscaping.
About a quarter of the way into next year, parts of Ou Kaapse Weg and Kommetjie Road will be tackled. The roads are to be widened and the intersections upgraded.The 3.5km of roadworks are along the lower edge of Ou Kaapse Weg; and along Kommetjie Road between Corsair Way (Sun Valley) and Capri Drive (Capri). The roads will be widened to become a four-lane dual carriageway along the entire length, not just parts as it is now.
Intersections will have additional turning lanes (the intersections of Kommetjie Road and Capri Drive; Kommetjie Road and Ou Kaapse Weg; Ou Kaapse Weg and Buller Louw Boulevard; and Ou Kaapse Weg and Noordhoek Main Road) and the Four Way Stop (intersection of Ou Kaapse Weg and Kommetjie Road) will have additional “queue-jump” lanes for public transport vehicles such as buses and taxis.
Mr Herron explained that the purpose of these lanes was to give those making use of public transport an advantage in peak-hour traffic periods above single-occupancy vehicles. The lanes would be clearly marked and be available to public vehicles 24/7.
“The queue-jump lane allows those transporting a number of passengers the opportunity to get ahead of other traffic – in particular at signalised crossings – meaning they will move through these crossings faster than private vehicles as they are allowed to jump the queue,” he said.
The next phase of the project, between Capri and Houmoed is planned but there is no date.
The design for that section is almost done, but the actual construction is dependent on buying a portion of land on the south of the road reserve, to be used for the road, and on having the required funds for the project.
The contractors will be storing their equipment along that part of the road where the informal traders are, on the Sun Valley side of the road.
At the open day, Far South Peninsula Civics Forum member Nicky Holderness commented: “This is a done deal. It’s all very nice, thank you very much, but the City has just announced an eight-month millions-of-rand transport study project. What if it makes different recommendations to what is going to be built here? It’s very much cart before the horse.”