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News - Date: 24 March 2017
Written by: Isabel Venter / Viewed: 9560
Local motorists will continue to experience delays on the N1 south between Louis Trichardt and Polokwane as the construction on the three bridges at Matoks has been extended by an extra two months.
The South African National Road Agency (SANRAL) said this week that the contractor did not complete the project as planned in February. This will mean that motorists will have to continue using the existing detour through Matoks (Botlokwa).
The current construction work at Matoks entails the building of two pedestrian bridges and a main vehicle bridge over the N1, as well as a 1,9km service road. A section of the N1, a distance of 1,5km to be exact, will also be upgraded after the main construction of the bridges. This construction is part of the strategy of the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) to safeguard the local community at Botlokwa. Over the years, this part of the N1 has claimed the lives of many a pedestrian. They are often hit and killed by speeding vehicles who fail to adhere to the 60km/h speed limit.
According to Mr Matshidisi Lethale (project manager), the contractor did not complete the R160-million project as planned in February because of increased earthworks. The project was supposed to be completed by 3 February, but has now been extended until 30 April. Apart from the increased earthworks, further delays were caused by additional erosion protection, the lining of open canals and disruptions by the Botlokwa community.
Motorists who wish to avoid this detour are advised to take the R36 to Morobeng (Soekmekaar), turning onto the R81 to Polokwane. Those travelling further south should also take note of delays caused by roadworks on the R71 in Polokwane. This is the road that passes the Peter Mokaba stadium and joins up with the N1 south again.
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One of the pedestrian bridges, photographed at Matoks on 11 March. Although the project is fast nearing completion, further work needs to be done and construction work has been extended until end of April this year.
Isabel joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in 2009 as a reporter. She holds a BA Degree in Communication Sciences from the University of South Africa. Her beat is mainly crime and court reporting.
motorists, n1, louis trichardt, polokwane, matoks, road works, construction, south african national roads agency, SANRAL