The final upgrades of the R160-million project to upgrade plazas by Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessioniare, operator of the N1N4 freeway, will commence along the N4 at the Marikana and Brits Toll plazas between April and October, 2017. The works will see two lanes added at both plazas, one in each direction.
Liam Clarke, commercial manager of Bakwena, says that the upgrade at Brits and Marikana means that the extra wide lanes westbound will be closed for abnormal vehicles for the seven months following from 10 April 2017. There may be some variance to this period depending on weather conditions, but the scheduled completion date is October 2017, says Clarke.
Alternative routes have been implemented for abnormal trucks using this route over the next eight months, while the toll plaza upgrade is underway at Brits and Marikana toll plazas.
Abnormal vehicles will need to follow the alternative route signage that has been provided along the route. “The Brits alternative route will consist of the K25, R566 and R512; while the Marikana alternative route will consist of the Buffelspoort ramp, the R104 and Kroondal ramp,” says Clarke.
The project to add additional lanes at Zambesi, Pumulani, Stormvoël and Doornpoort Toll Plaza was completed on schedule in December 2016 and is already reducing delays during peak periods.
The initial upgrade at Zambesi Toll Plaza has already been assessed and resulted in a 20-minute saving on commuter driving time. The time savings on the more newly completed plazas at Stormvoël. Pumulani and Doornpoort are still being evaluated. The upgrade at Doornpoort has so far led to an increase in vehicles per hour in peak periods from 3,300 to 3,800 vph, an increase of 15%.
In addition to including new e-tag lanes in the upgrades of each toll plaza, Bakwena is also incentivising toll road users to switch from manual payment to e-tags.
“Use of e-tags is convenient and benefits motorists by considerably speeding up their transit through the electronic toll collection (ETC) lanes,” concludes Clarke.