Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi
At the opening of the second phase of the William Nicol Drive upgrade, transport MEC Ismail Vadi said his department wanted to involve the private sector in major road construction projects.
“We have taken an approach that, if there is road construction that needs to be done as a consequence of residential and estate development, then the developer must make a contribution to [the cost of] the road infrastructure.
“This is because they are generating traffic. They bring hundreds of people to live in these estates, resulting in traffic congestion. As a basic rule, we have asked that developers contribute a minimum of one-third of the total cost of the project.
“Some developers have given us 50%; others have given us 100%,” said Vadi.
The second phase of the William Nicol upgrade, launched yesterday, will link the road to the N14 freeway and expand it into a dual carriageway. The intention is to improve access to, and increase mobility for, Diepsloot, Fourways, Dainfern and southwards towards Randburg.
The project is the biggest to be undertaken by the department at R576-million. The tender has been awarded to a black-controlled company, Lubbe Construction. About 40% of the contractors will be from the local community. Construction is expected to end next year.
Traffic flow along William Nicol Drive will be constrained by the roadworks and Vadi warned that there might be days on which the road would be closed, in particular during the construction of bridges.
During road closures traffic will be diverted to Riverside Road.
Included in the project is the upgrading of several interchanges, including Rose interchange; the construction of pedestrian and cycle lanes; and the installation of road-safety furniture and storm-water drains along the route.
Vadi said the one-third minimum contribution of developers to the cost of the project amounted to about R166-million.