Pretoria — Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, on Thursday officially opened the R600 million R55 dual carriageway stretching from Sunderland Ridge to Laudium.
This is after the successful completion of Phases 1 and 2 of the rehabilitation and upgrading of this major arterial road between Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The R55 serves as a principal link between Johannesburg and Tshwane West and connects the Mabopane and the N14/Krugersdorp freeways.
Vadi said that the second phase of the R55 project comprised the construction of a 4.2km dual carriageway between Wierda Road in Sunderland Ridge and Main Road in Laudium at a total cost of R248 million.
Included in this road infrastructure project is the construction of a bridge over Rietspruit River, a bridge over Hester se Loop, and two bridges over the Hennops River, along with the installation of overhead lighting.
The earlier phase entailed the construction of a dual carriageway between the N14 freeway and Wierda Road. The overall upgrade of the R55 cost over R600 million.
Vadi said he was delighted with the high quality of the construction work and thanked the contractors for completing the project on time.
"The successful and timely completion of this dual carriageway ensures that road users are provided with a safe and quality alternative route to the Ben Schoeman freeway, which often sees heavy traffic volumes," Vadi said.
The R55 road project delivered 255 job opportunities for local community members. Of those employed in the project, 79 were women, 205 were youths and seven have disabilities.
Furthermore, 10 local SMME contractors worked on the project as subcontractors.
Vadi also announced that remaining sections of the R55 between Main Road in Laudium and Maunde Street in Atteridgeville were earmarked for rehabilitation in the next financial year at an estimated cost of R50 million.
Also, the portion of the R55 between Kyalami (M71) and Summit Road in Midrand (R562) has been earmarked for upgrade at an estimated cost of R210 million.
Vadi also announced that the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport has served notice to terminate the R28.5 million tender awarded earlier this year for the upgrade of the R511 between Laudium/Erasmia and Diepsloot due to non-performance by the contractor.