Work has resumed on the N2 Wild Coast Road in the Eastern Cape, which will include the construction of a R1.6 billion mega-bridge.
The N2 Wild Coast Road is one of the massive infrastructure projects announced by president Cyril Ramaphosa as part of South Africa’s economic reconstruction and recovery plan.
The project is endorsed by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC) as a catalyst for economic development.
It is strategically positioned on the N2, connecting four provinces; Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, traversing the cities and towns of Cape Town, George, Knysna, Port Elizabeth, East London, Mthatha, Durban and Ermelo.
The project is currently in early construction phase and, once completed, the 580 metre long Msikaba Bridge will be the longest cable-stay bridge in Africa.
With a deck height of 194 metres above the river valley, Msikaba will become the third-highest bridge in Africa and the 133rd highest in the world.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said that nothing will stop the project from progressing, noting that the development will create jobs in the local community, and boost the economy. The bridge is expected to be completed by January 2022.
“I started my visit at the Msikaba Mega Bridge construction site, and I was incredibly impressed with the progress being made, the magnitude of the project and the economic development opportunities created for emerging black business and SMMEs on this project,”said Mbalula.
The N2 Wild Coast Road, which stretches 410 km from the Gonubie Interchange in East London to the Mtamvuna river near Port Edward, will shorten the current distance by 85 kilometres in comparison to the current route.
This will mean a travel time saving of between one-and-a-half to three-hours for road-users once it is completed saving the economy R1.5 billion annually, Sanral said.