Preparations for the upgrade of 47 kilometres of the N2 between Grahamstown and the Fish River Pass have begun. Bosch Stemele, in a joint venture with Mott MacDonald PDNA, is providing consulting engineering services to the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) for this project.
The project comprises upgrading a single carriageway traversing mountainous terrain. Construction is to be split into three phases of approximately equal length and the preliminary construction cost is estimated at R 900 million. Bosch Stemele is responsible for the pavement and materials design.
Gary Hughes from Bosch Stemele outlined some challenges in designing the upgrade. “We have to avoid the protected Oldenburgia Grandis trees indigenous to limited areas along the route, limit delays to road users during construction and limit impacts to adjoining property owners. The design also has to tie into the existing Fish River Bridge, which imposes limitations on design speed”.
The environmental authorisation process is well advanced, with the final submission imminent. The land acquisition process has commenced.
The full project scope design is anticipated to be completed by May 2014 and construction tenders for phase one will be advertised in July 2014.