The R51 road between Vereeniging and Balfour has officially been opened three months ahead of schedule.

Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi, who opened the road on Monday, said this is an indication that the Gauteng Provincial Government is committed to providing world-class road infrastructure, contributing to social and economic development.

The R51 road project – undertaken at a cost of R48 million – involved the rehabilitation of the route from Vereeniging to Balfour.

Extending the lifespan of the road

According to the Department of Roads and Transport the main priorities for the road project included extending the lifespan of the road by a further 20 years as well as improving motorists’ safety.

The decision to rehabilitate the road was undertaken after the department did a routine inspection and concluded that the design life of the pavement structure has exceeded its traffic loading capacity for which it was designed.

“The inspection indicated that the pavement structure had limited load bearing capacity left at the time,” the department said.

Scope of works

The scope of work included recycling existing base and sub-base; reconstructing existing gravel shoulder; asphalt surfacing; undertaking drainage improvements; repairs or replacements of ancillary elements and attending to the road reserve.

Community empowerment

Community empowerment during the project included provision of training opportunities, skills development and sub-contracting of 30% of the work to local small and emerging enterprises

MEC Vadi noted that the department’s ability to complete yet another road project ahead of schedule demonstrates its department’s commitment to adhering to set timetables, delivering quality projects and within allocated budgets.