A STRETCH of road between Grahamstown and the Fish River on the N2 is being upgraded at a cost of R900-million.
The new SA National Roads Agency project will take place in three phases on the 47km stretch over a period of six or seven years.
It includes geometric improvements traversing mountainous terrain. In addition, climbing lanes will be added to steep sections of the road to improve the level of the surface.
The project forms part of a longterm strategy to improve roads around and between Grahamstown and King William’s Town.
Sanral southern region project manager Steven Robertson said: “The existing road was built in the 1960s and does not meet the desired alignment and safety standards.”
He said an increase in traffic volumes in the past 10 years had prompted the upgrade. “We aim to improve sight distance for drivers to reduce road accidents and also reduce vehicle operating costs.”
The terrain and geological formations presented challenges in the design of the upgrade of the road, Robertson said.
“In particular, large quantities of rocky materials have to be blasted and removed. At the Fish River pass, a special bypass is being constructed to allow the existing road to be widened.”