Traffic congestion on Main Reef Road. Picture: Rianté Naidoo

Traffic congestion on Main Reef Road. Picture: Rianté Naidoo

By Rianté Naidoo

Johannesburg’s infrastructure is crumbling, and was left to decay by the previous administration, mayco member Nonhlanhla Makhuba told media at Thursday’s sod turning ceremony on the M2 Freeway.

To improve current infrastructure along this route, the Main Reef Road area on the M2 will undergo a six month upgrade to help ease severe congestion. The project is being carried out by the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) and will cost R30 million.

Mpho Kau head of infrastructure at the JRA said 30% of the project will include local small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and a minimum of 25 local labourers.

In an attempt to prioritise commuter safety the entire project will happen at night between 19:00 and 05:00. Kau said the project will also include traffic accommodation, the relocation of services, the extending and repairing of stormwater systems, roadworks, road signs, road markings, and training.

Mayco member Nonhlanhla Makhuba does the sod turning, marking the start of the Main Reef Road upgrade. Picture: Riante Naidoo

Mayco member Nonhlanhla Makhuba does the sod turning, marking the start of the Main Reef Road upgrade. Picture: Riante Naidoo

Main Reef Road

Main Reef Road plays a critical role in Johannesburg’s road network, which spans more than 15,000km. It links the M1, M2, M7, N1 and R24 which are some of the major freeways forming the backbone of the city’s road network.

The JRA carried out a network study in which it re-evaluated key roads in the provincial and national roads network. Factors that were taken into account included freight, public transport, road improvements, the spatial development framework, and other planning in the area.

The JRA’s MD Sean Phillips said a major contributing factor to congestion along Main Reef Road is the intense development between Production Road and Miriam Makeba Street. Therefore, the following upgrades will be taking place from Crownwood Road, Ormnonde to Treu Road, and Selby Road:

  1. Main Reef/Church Street: Additional left lane from the northern approach on Church Street
  2. Main Reef/Church Street: An additional left turn lane from the eastern approach on Main Reef Road
  3. Main Reef Road: A continuous slip from Main Reef Road west into the M2 Ramp
  4. Main Reef/Press: An additional left turn lane from the southern approach of Press Avenue into Main Reef Road
  5. Main Reef/Press: An additional left turn lane from the eastern approach of Main Reef Road into Press Avenue
  6. Main Reef/Press: An additional through lane from the western approach of Main Reef Road
  7. Main Reef/M2 inbound: An additional right turn lane from the M2 into Main Reef Road
  8. Main Reef/M2 inbound: An additional through lane form the eastern approach of Main Reef Road
  9. Main Reef/Hanover: An additional through lane from the eastern approach of Main Reef Road
  10. Main Reef/Treu: An additional through lane form the eastern approach of Main Reef Road

The roadworks will also include the introduction of new, more easily visible traffic signs from the Production Road and Dorado Avenue intersections up to Treu Road/ Park Drive, Selby Extensions and Crown City Extensions.

The project is expected to be completed by 15 December 2017.