Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, has officially opened Phase 2 of the newly-constructed R82 (Old Vereeniging Road) from Eikenhof to Walkerville.
Vadi said that the new six kilometre dual carriageway, constructed at a total cost of R259 million, will significantly improve mobility from the Sedibeng District Municipality to Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and the West Rand.
“It will also enhance road safety on a high traffic volume road, which previously was extremely narrow, severely degraded and dangerous,” said Vadi.
Importantly, he said that the R82 is one of three strategic routes that connect Johannesburg to the industrial hubs of Meyerton, Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark.
“This is a major arterial route that is critical for the economic well-being and growth of the Sedibeng region,” said Vadi.
“It is an essential road for the speedy movement of goods and services. It also is of historical significance in that it linked Vereeniging, where the peace treaty bringing an end to the Anglo-Boer War was signed, to Johannesburg,” he added.
A total of 270 workers, particularly youth, were employed and over 15 SMMEs were engaged as sub-contractors during the construction phase.
Vadi also announced that Phase 3 of the R82 construction project will be launched in the current financial year, wherein the single carriageway will be upgraded to a dual carriageway road with surfaced shoulders on each side.
The segment of the road to be reconstructed will commence from Walkerville to the De Deur Post Office.
Like the new road that is being opened today, the extent of the works on the new contract will involve the clearing and grubbing for the new road; construction of a dual carriageway; the construction of a 3 metre-wide combined cycle way and sidewalk, and the installation of street lighting at key intersections.
The Department of Roads and Transport is currently in the process of advertising for consulting engineering services for the project and the commencement date for the tender process for construction is August 2016.