JOINT MEDIA RELEASE BY MAYOR PATRICIA DE LILLE, MEC DONALD GRANT AND SANRAL WESTERN CAPE
Today the City of Cape Town and its partners, the Western Cape Government Department of Transport and Public Works and the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) turned the first sod in the new R60 million R300/Bottelary interchange in Kuils Rriver.
This new connection will go a long way towards alleviating pressure on two of the city’s most important arterials, the R300 and Bottelary Road.
Cape Town is the most congested city in the country as a result of increased investment and more people moving to Cape Town in search of opportunities.The City of Cape Town is looking at various interventions and investments that will begin to alleviate traffic at some of the major pressure points, including Kuils River, Kommetjie, Blaauwberg and other areas.
The new interchange will provide another quicker connection for motorists from Bottelary Road moving onto the R300 to connect to and from the N1 via two new lanes on either side of the new interchange.
Traffic from Van Riebeeck Road will have an easier alternative via these new ramps.
Construction has started and is expected to be completed in mid-2017.
In November 2015, the City hosted the first congestion summit to engage with stakeholders, including the Western Cape Government, SANRAL, and the private sector to explore ways of working together to address the major congestion pressure points across the city.
This comprehensive congestion plan consists of infrastructure developments and other interventions, such as exploring car-share initiatives, granting flexi-time for workers, and encouraging more people to use public transport through investments such as the provision of Wi-Fi on MyCiTi buses.
Last year the City committed R40 million towards various roads projects to address congestion in this financial year.
R10 million from the R40 million has been used for this new interchange.
The City is contributing 52% of the construction cost (R31 million), the Western Cape Government is contributing 48% (R29 million), while SANRAL has purchased the land required for the new interchange. The national roads agency will be responsible for the maintenance after construction is completed.
As part of the Congestion Relief Programme, the City committed a further R750 million to be spent over five years towards various new roads and upgrades, including the new R300/Bottelary interchange.
Other congestion alleviation projects in Kuils River and surrounding areas include:
· the widening of Amandel Road: R18 million – completed
· Van Riebeeck/Strand Street widening: R8,5 million – detail design phase
· Saxdowne Road: R32,5 million – under construction
· Erica Drive: R70 million – consultant procurement phase
· Belhar Main Road: R17,5 million – contractor procurement phase
As part of our commitment to build an opportunity city, the construction of the new R300/Bottelary interchange will also provide a number of jobs to local sub-contractors to the value of over R3,8 million.
A substantial portion of the upgrade cost is being financed by developers as part of their conditions of development approval. These developments will provide additional jobs in various sectors.
Western Cape Government Transport and Public Works MEC, Donald Grant, said: ‘This R60 million project is an example of what can be achieved through partnerships for the residents of Cape Town. This project will go a long way towards easing congestion on some of the City’s busiest arterials. Roads play a significant role in achieving national development and contributing to the overall performance and social functioning of the community. Roads enhance mobility and increase access to economic opportunities. For this reason, we prioritise transport and roads as the main stimulant for development in various other sectors.’
SANRAL project manager, Renaldo Lorio, said: ‘The major benefit of this project will be to address the congestion in the Brackenfell and Kuils River areas where most of the traffic congestion occurs on Bottelary Road via La Belle and Old Oak Roads to the N1. Another benefit would be the development of an industrial area, resulting in the creation of permanent jobs and a boost to economic growth in the area. The project demonstrates that road authorities SANRAL, the Western Cape Government, and the City of Cape Town can work together by following an integrated approach to address the congestion in the greater municipal boundaries of the City.’
The City’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille stated: ‘I am especially grateful for the contribution from our partners as partnerships are vital to achieve progress and respond to the needs of our residents in ways that benefit them and connect them to economic opportunities.
‘While we have a responsibility to respond to the needs and growth in the city, merely building roads will not solve the problem as this only means more cars on the road. The key to the City’s congestion plan is behavioural change. Following a business-as-usual approach will only mean more traffic, continued frustration, and added pressure on our infrastructure.
‘Tackling congestion will only be effective if all stakeholders work together to do things differently by changing our behaviour and the way we work and use our roads.
‘This new connection will bring some relief but I appeal to residents to find ways in which they can make their journeys easier by exploring car-sharing with family, friends or colleagues, or using public transport so that we can ease the traffic pressure.
‘We remain committed to addressing congestion and will continue to announce developments in our Congestion Relief Programme.’