The upgrade of the Mount Edgecombe interchange in KwaZulu Natal has finally been completed, with the Department of Transport officially opening the route for traffic.
According to road agency Sanral, the R1.1 billion interchange is one of the largest projects undertaken by the group in KwaZulu-Natal, and will be a vital artery of the greater eThekwini metropolitan highway system, contributing to SMME development.
The new four-level interchange facility provides at least two lanes on each of the major movements. The upgrade includes the implementation of directional ramps, eliminating the need for controlled signalisation, thus ensuring free flow of traffic in all directions.
The construction has been jointly funded by Sanral and KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport and has been undertaken by the South African branch of Italian construction company CMC di Ravenna.
Two incrementally launched bridges are part of the interchange upgrade. One bridge which is 948m long – the longest incrementally launched bridge in South Africa – joins the Mt Edgecombe side of the M41 with the N2 South. The other bridge is 440m long and joins the uMhlanga side of the M41 with the N2 North.
The 948m bridge has 23 piers and two abutments and was built from two ends – one portion launched on a curve and the other on a straight.
To provide for the safety of pedestrians, a pedestrian bridge has been constructed over the N2 and will connect to new footways. In addition, lighting has been installed to ensure the whole interchange is lit at night for increased safety.
“Due to the expansion of the uMhlanga and La Lucia Ridge areas, the existing interchange had been operating at capacity with vehicles backing up on the M41 and onto the N2 in peak hours,” the group said.
“An additional 40,000 vehicles were entering or leaving the N2 from the M41 daily resulting in substantial queuing of vehicles during the day. This, together with expected future expansions and development of the Cornubia area, required the existing interchange to be upgraded in order to improve the flow to and from the N2 and M41 to the supporting road network.”
The pictures below show the build process:
At the start