M1 bridge revamp finally done

As Transport Month 2017 kicks off across the City of Johannesburg and motorists are encouraged to use public transport instead, the M1 Oxford and Federation bridges were officially opened again after months of maintenance work.

Since November 2015, sections of the bridges were closed for maintenance and upgrades needed for the next two phases of the entire M1 upgrade.

Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) operations manager, Esther Schmidt, said they have many future plans for Joburg’s road network. Speaking at the launch, which attracted both the MEC for Transport Dr Ismail Vadi and Gauteng Premier David Makhura, she said roads like the M1, M2 and M70 have been picked as alternative corridors to improve future freeway performance. Schmidt focused on the need for less congestion on the road.

Echoing this, Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba said the R140 million project, which is one of the largest construction projects ever carried out by the roads entity, is part of a strengthened road network which, he said, is intrinsic to economic growth.

He said while arterial routes like the M1 remain a priority, the City is also investing in underdeveloped areas where there currently is no access to public transport.

Makhura agreed that the day that all communities have access to public transport is a day to celebrate. He said different levels of government should constantly invest in infrastructure development.

He also said that he supports the mayor’s public transport budget for the City, as it aligns with the province’s budget. The premier told the mayor that he will also work closely with him in the revitalisation of the inner city, which the province committed R3 billion to.

The northbound section of the bridge will open on 9 October and the southbound section on 16 October for safety reasons, the JRA said.

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Chantelle Fourie

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