Bay road projects on track

ALMOST THERE: Councillor Morne Steyn and design and implementation senior director Luthando Mabhoza at the Fountain Road upgrade site in Walmer Township

Upgrades worth R50m nearly ready after delays

Major road construction projects in Nelson Mandela Bay worth more than R50-million are on track and will be completed in two months’ time.

This was the promise of the municipality after an inspection of the sites yesterday.

There had been disruptions lasting about a month at the Magennis Street in Uitenhage and Missionvale project locations due to small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) demanding their share of project work.

Concerns over safety were raised by roads and transport committee councillors during site visits to four projects yesterday.

The contractor at the Missionvale site where the resurfacing of Tromp and Seibritz streets is under way, was threatened with penalties should the safety measures not be implemented by today.

Work at all four projects, which also include Fountain Road in Walmer and the Chatty Link, are now set to be completed by June.

Design and implementation senior director Luthando Mabhoza warned that any further delays – even by a day – would be costly.

“We were largely delayed by SMMEs, but now that those issues are resolved we have additions to the projects such as kerbing, done mostly by the SMMEs.

“We hope that they will not stop this project any further so we can finish by the set time,” he said.

He explained the two roads in Missionvale were also in the final stages of completion, with the placing of a second layer of concrete and a layer of tarring to be carried out by next month. Committee member Mvuzo Mbekelane expressed his concern with safety at the Missionvale site.

“I am concerned about safety – everyone can just walk onto the site. We can see kids walking here – the barricading is also of concern.

“There should be an alternative road for transport, with the exception of the people living on site.”

Mabhoza said the contractor had been given an ultimatum to enforce safety measures by today or face penalties.

Taxis and cars could also be seen on the site.

The Magennis Street project is also in its final stages, with concrete slabs already in place.

The road will be tarred and officially opened next month.

The projects are part of an infrastructure overhaul in the metro worth R99-million and dating back to 2015.

Despite minor glitches on the Chatty Link Road project by illegal shack invasions, the project is also on track. Mabhoza said various proposals were expected from interested investors by the end of the year.

“We are hoping that a road will stimulate business interest.”

Councillor Morne Steyn, who led the visits, said the committee was satisfied with the progress so far.

“Everything seems to be in order. We have been told the Exempted Micro-Enterprises’ (EMEs) concerns have been resolved.

“It is a concern that the Magennis Street project will not be finished by this month.”

He said talks to add street lights in the Fountain Road and Missionvale projects were in the pipeline.

Members of the committee said they were impressed by the progress made at the Fountain Road project as it was on time and under budget by 12% of the set R9-million.

While councillors expressed concerns with under-spending, Fountain Road project manager Shaun Abrahams said money saved from excluding consultants would be used to upgrade traffic signals at the Heugh and Fountain roads intersection.

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