Eskom says that it will close parts of the N3 highway in KwaZulu-Natal in the coming weeks as it installs conductors.
The closures will impact the Lions River area, with the major highway set to be closed for two-hour intervals. The work is set to begin on Monday (16 August) and will continue at semi-regular intervals until the start of September.
The full list of closures and times are outlined in the table below.
The N3 is a key trade route between Durban and Johannesburg, with the riots cutting off the flow of food and other essential goods from the country’s biggest port to its most populous city.
Parts of the N3 were forced closed for a week in July following widespread looting in Durban and Gauteng.
The N3 is also scheduled to receive part of a R30 billion upgrade package over the next four years.
In a February presentation, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) that its initial work will involve the upgrade of the N3 between the Dardanelles interchange and the Lynnfield Park interchange situated between Cato Ridge and Pietermaritzburg.
“During the next 42-month construction period, the existing four-lane dual carriageway road will be upgraded to an eight-lane dual carriageway by widening to the median and outer shoulders. The existing Dardanelles interchange will also be upgraded to improve traffic flow,” it said.
“The construction will result in an investment of R1.48 billion in this section of the highway and create an estimated 700 employment opportunities.”
Sanral said that the upgrade is a part of the government’s strategy to use infrastructure delivery to kickstart the economy.
Another project which forms part of the N3 upgrade is the Westville Viaduct/Paradise Valley which will feature the first network arch bridge to be constructed in South Africa.
The proposed bridge will span the entire N3 without any support piers, creating space for additional lanes. Sanral said that its estimated cost is R300 million.
“The N3 upgrade project will improve the capacity of the N3 from the Westville Viaduct to the Paradise Valley Interchange in KwaZulu-Natal,” said Transport minister Fikile Mbalula.
“The total length of construction will be a massive 1,666km and will include an innovative arch bridge to span the N3.”