The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has announced the emergency closure of 9th Avenue and Rugby Road in Weltevreden Park following the collapse of the road.

According to the JRA Rand Water contractors were installing the pipes next to the bridge on 9th Avenue when the bridge abutment collapsed.

The agency took to decision to close the road to the public in the interest of safety.

Collapses on the rise?

Some Weltevreden Park residents took to twitter to express their dissatisfaction at the news of the collapse with some noting that his was the third bridge collapse in the area and that infrastructure in the region was in bad shape.

The JRA has been plagued by deteriorating road and bridge infrastructure around the City.  In June the agency was forced to order the emergency closure of the Mzimhlophe pedestrian bridge due to unsafe conditions caused by an unstable and rapidly deteriorating structure.

In July a collapsed culvert closed a road in Ruimsig after JRA Engineers declared the road unsafe for travel.

Similarly the agency was forced to close Republic Road in Randburg towards the end of last year after a massive sinkhole made headlines.

Insufficient budget worsen road woes

These incidents lend truth to Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba’s state of the city infrastructure address where he pointed out that the city’s road network was deteriorating because the R1 billion budget for the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) was inadequate to maintain the roads let alone improve them.

“In comparison to the 2013 roads study, the current conditions indicate that very good and good surfaced roads have decreased by 52% to 45% while poor and very poor surfaced roads have increased from 27% to 32%,” MMC for Transport Nonhlanhla Makhuba, highlighted.

The city’s bridges have deteriorated at an alarming rate with 78.38% of bridges in a poor to very poor condition according to Makhuba. She also noted that since 2013 37 bridges have collapsed during rainy seasons.

The total investment needed to restore the city’s road infrastructure amounts to R81.5 billion over the next 10 years.