Trucks trying motorists’ patience

The N4 Trac route.

MBOMBELA – The upgrade of the R36 by the provincial government would drastically reduce truck traffic on the R37, also known as the Long Tom Pass. This is according to Sanral, the agency responsible for the R37.

Motorists have expressed concern about the risk posed by trucks on the pass.

  • See previous report

Breaking News: Eight people killed in accidents on the N4

The damage caused to the road surface by heavy coal trucks is a particular concern.

Sanral said that most trucks loaded within the legal requirements do not cause undue damage to the road.

“Some of the longer trucks that may travel at speeds higher than the posted one are a danger due to the sharp curves and the steep gradients,” explained Mr Ismail Essa, northern region manager of Sanral.

“Sanral is currently researching more cost-effective methods and processes to curb overloading, and we intend implementing such systems on routes such as the Long Tom Pass in the near future.”

  • Also see: 

Long Tom Pass closed due to snow and ice

He added that upgrades to the R36, a provincial road, would make a big impact by reducing heavy vehicles on the R37 as well as “the perceived danger.”

The provincial Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport (DPWRT) agreed that the 47-kilometre route between Mashishing and Bambi has seen an increase in traffic volumes due to the mining activities in the Burgersfort-Steelport area, and is being used frequently.

“In 2015 the DPWRT invested R140 million to reconstruct 10 kilometres of the road (in the first phase of the rehabilitation). Currently processes are under way for the rehabilitation of another 14 kilometres (phase 2) of the road,” said department spokesman, Mr David Nkambule.

The remaining 23 kilometres (phase 3) will be undertaken in the 2017/18 financial year, which starts on April 1.

Also see:

N4 toll route tariff adjustments 2017

 

  AUTHOR
Mireille de Villiers
Journalist

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