Maintenance on National Route R410 between Lady Frere and Quiba completed

Lady Frere, Eastern Cape, 11 December 2017:  The rehabilitation of degraded road surfaces was a core focus of the recently completed periodic maintenance project on the National Route R410 between Lady Frere and Quiba in the Eastern Cape, the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) announced today.

The 66,3km road maintenance project, valued at approximately R60 million started at km1.77 (road marker) near Lady Frere and continued up until the end of section 2 at km51.02. From here it continued along section 3 through Cala, ending at km17.1, which is at the intersection with the R58.

“Before the project began, existing roads in the area were showing signs of deterioration in the form of potholes, cracking and stone loss.  There was also a need for improved signage and pedestrian safety measures. The periodic maintenance of the road has extended the lifespan of the road surface and will improve the safety of motorists, pedestrians and communities living along the road,” Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region Manager said.

Some of the major works on the project included a 3km asphalt overlay in Cala using an asphalt paver, a 40km long 14mm single seal, a 13.5km long 14/7mm double seal and a 7.2km long 7/14mm inverted seal. The seals were constructed using the conventional construction method for constructing surface seals. Existing asphalt on bridge decks were milled and replaced and surface repairs with 40mm thick asphalt were also conducted.

“In addition to seals and overlays, existing fences and guardrails were repaired, new gabion boxes and mattresses were constructed, new road signs were installed and existing speed humps and rumble strips were replaced,” Peterson said.

A SMME contract participation goal of 29.9% valued at over R15.3 million was achieved on the project.

Sixteen Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMME) and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) companies with CIDB gradings ranging from one to five were involved in the project. Half of these SMMEs were majority women-owned enterprises.

Labour was sourced from the surrounding areas between Lady Frere and Cala in the Emalahleni and Sakhisizwe local municipalities.

“Approximately 800 labourers were employed over the seven-month project, many of whom were involved in enhanced labour methods including traffic accommodation, fine slurry application, asphalt patches, seal work, bush clearing and fencing, among others,” Peterson said.

Theoretical and practical training related to road construction and rehabilitation was provided to local labour. This training included courses on: flagman and radio call procedures, SHE representative, basic health and safety and continuous risk assessment. All training was conducted in accordance with the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) specifications and participants received a certificate of competency on completion of the courses.

“A community involvement initiative which sought to both uplift and inspire ownership of the road added a community collaboration element to this project,” Peterson said.

This initiative saw the repair and beautification of 44 bus stops along the recently rehabilitated route.

Twelve schools located along the route participated in a bus stop mural competition. Approximately 36 pupils in grades seven to 12 were provided with the materials and tools needed to paint the bus stops with their own designs. Prize money worth R2000 was awarded to the top three bus stop murals.

“The initiative assisted the community in taking ownership of the facilities they make use of on a daily basis, and will hopefully ensure that the bus stops are not vandalised in the future. The finished bus stops add to the aesthetic of the completed road and beautify the area through which this portion of the R410 runs.

“A recurring theme among the murals was one of road safety, which is indicative of the impact that such a road has on local communities. It is hoped that the completion of this project, including the safety improvements that were undertaken, will contribute to improved road safety for those that live and work along this section of the National Route R410,” Peterson concluded.