Bridge demolished amid traffic jam gripes

The Spine Road Bridge in Westville that runs over the N3 Freeway near the Pavilion Shopping Centre has been demolished to expand the road. | Tumi Pakkies Independent Newspapers

The Spine Road Bridge in Westville that runs over the N3 Freeway near the Pavilion Shopping Centre has been demolished to expand the road. | Tumi Pakkies Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 25, 2024



Durban — Traffic came to a standstill in Westville, Durban, as the scheduled demolition of a bridge commenced at the weekend.

The demolition and reconstruction of the St James (Spine Road) Eastern Bridge and Lancaster Road Bridge continued as part of the construction process of the N3 road upgrade.

The SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) said the N3 eastbound experienced a full road closure, which took place at the M7 Farningham Ridge Interchange in the west, and traffic was diverted onto the M7 (north or south).

There was full closure at the N2 EB Cloete (Spaghetti) Interchange, where N3 westbound traffic was diverted north and south on to the N2 as the final point of diversion for traffic.

The N3 westbound ramp for N2 northbound and southbound traffic at EB Cloete Interchange was closed.

All on-ramps and off-ramps at the Spine Road intersection were closed for the full duration of the N3 closure (35 hours).

Westville Ratepayers Association chairperson Asad Gaffer said people have been affected by this process as the reconstruction is taking place in a number of locations, but they have had to adapt to the changes.

He encouraged people to be more understanding as this work is essential to the expansion of the roads.

“People adapt to the new traffic flow, which is temporary and it’s in the name of progress. They are not doing this to spite us. So there is no use in us moaning and groaning. It’s all in the interest of progress.”

Gaffer said even though people can now access the bridges, there is still slow traffic and he urged drivers to be patient. He said delays were caused by drivers of vehicles who overtake the line.

“If everyone stays in their lane and follows the flow of the emergency barricade, then traffic normally flows and you aren’t stuck in it for long.”

A worker at a complex near Westville Mall, Nomfundo Magubane, said the closure of certain roads has impacted her because she has to commute to work.

“It’s a route I use regularly to go to work. So, now there are times when I get to work late and there are times where I arrive super early.”

She says she has had to effect a few changes to her travelling routine due to the traffic, with taxi drivers having deviated from their routes which she says is a great inconvenience.

“It has affected me negatively in the sense that I used to get a taxi by walking a few steps at eMvuzane, by the freeway. But I’ve noticed that with the traffic there aren’t a lot of taxis using that route, but they rather use the Clermont route. So, that means I have to walk a few minutes to get to the bus stop where I wait and end up being delayed.”

Anele Bangimpi, a senior supervisor for Traffic Accommodation said the signs on the roads and the assistance of the Road Traffic Inspectorate and Metro police in diverting traffic had allowed for a smooth traffic flow this weekend.

“Since it’s the weekend, we haven’t had any hard times with road users. They have been coping because we advertised this long ago. We’ve also been working with RTI and Metro police. They were assisting us to close and deviate the traffic.”

Sanral’s eastern region project manager, Andrew Ssekayita, says the process is still on course for the reopening in the morning today (Monday).

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