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Jo’burg unleashes rejuvenation blitz on city’s roads

The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) on Wednesday revealed that it had begun a three-month, R77-million project to fill Johannesburg’s potholes, and upgrade and maintain 200 of the city’s major roads and intersections, including storm drains and traffic lights.

The initiative, which began in June, forms part of the city’s “90 Days” of intensified service delivery programme, being driven by newly elected mayor Parks Tau.

‘This being the dry season, it is the best time speed up service delivery as part of mayor Tau’s 90 days program,” Dudu Maseko, the JRA’s managing director, told reporters at Museum Africa in Newtown.

The JRA aims to close 17 000 potholes and resurface 50km of the city’s roads during the three months of implementation.

With R77-million set aside for the project, R40-million will be used for the eradication of potholes and road rejuvenation, along with the repair and maintenance of stormwater drainage systems.

The remaining R30-million will be split between several other rejuvenation and modification plans.

These include implementing new traffic light technology, the creation of footways for pedestrians in Soweto and Alexandra and the stabilisation of gravel and dirt roads in informal settlements such as Klipspruit, Rabie Ridge.

To help save power, 120 traffic lights throughout Johannesburg will be installed with Uninterrupted Power Supply, remote monitoring functionality and LED lights.

‘We started on this in June already, and we’ve seen implementation being carried in certain areas and we promise to keep you updated on our progress throughout,” Maseko said.

It is hoped government’s expanded public works program will be able to provide an extra R70-million for further implementation during and after the 90-day plan.

The JRA’s spokesperson, Thulani Makhubela, told the Mail & Guardian no traffic congestion was expected to arise out of the planned upgrades and maintenance.

‘We don’t plan to have any major interruptions but if so, there will be the necessary diversions to alleviate any congestion,” said Makhubela.

Critical intersections and main roads
The 200 main roads and critical intersections across Johannesburg identified by the JRA as priority areas for immediate action include the corner of William Nichol and Jan Smuts in Hyde park, Chris Hani drive in Chiawelo, the corner of Louis Botha and Corlett drives in Bramley as well as Main Reef road in Nasrec.

‘These intersections and roads must never [fall into disrepair], they must always be working — during these 90 days and into the future,” Maseko said.

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Nickolaus Bauer
Nickolaus Bauer is the Mail & Guardian's jack of all trades news reporter that chases down stories ranging from politics and sports to big business and social justice. Armed with an iPad, SLR camera, camcorder and dictaphone, he aims to fight ignorance and pessimism through written words, photographs and videos. He believes South Africa could be the greatest country in the world if only her citizens would give her a chance to flourish instead of dwell on the negativity. When he's not begging his sub-editors for an extra twenty minutes after deadline, he's also known to dabble in the occasional poignant column that will leave you mulling around in the depths of your psyche. The quintessential workaholic, you can also catch him doing sports on the weekday breakfast show on SAfm and presenting the SAfm Sports Special over the weekend.

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