Repairs on the R36 to enter the second stage

BADFONTEIN – Another 18-kilometre stretch of the R36/Badfontein road is in the process of being rehabilitated and repaired.

In 2016, the first phase of repairs was completed and a 10-kilometre stretch of this road was repaired. The second phase is currently underway and should be completed in 2019. The repairs will be made from the previous rehabilitated phase up to the N4.

The contract for the work on the road was awarded to Bambi JV. The contractor has already begun with the grading of a detour road while repairs are under way. The Mpumalanga Department of Public Works said that the total road network for the province covers approximately 13 853 kilometres, 5 458 of which are surfaced roads and 8 395 gravel roads.

Motorists can soon make use of newly upgraded Badfontein Road

“It goes without saying that prioritisation of projects related to these kilometres will depend on the availability of budget. This project has always been part of the department’s plans. However, due to budget constraints and prevailing economic conditions, the project is being implemented in three phases.”

The department said that continuous routine maintenance is done as per the ongoing road condition assessment results during this time. Since 2007, farmers and tourists who make use of this road have been pleading for the repair of the severely pothole-ridden roadway. Minimal repairs were done since then, which left the road in a severely dilapidated state.

Ore-carrying trucks that use this road also pose a grave danger to road users. Since the shoulders of the road are basically crumbling away, these trucks have become too wide and often veer off the road to avoid colliding with each other. The resulting dust clouds visibility for any motorist travelling behind them.

Farmers have also complained about the total lawlessness of the truck drivers. The R36 is a provincial route that connects the N1 (between Louis Trichardt and Polokwane) with Ermelo via Tzaneen and Lydenburg. It is co-signed with the N4 for 50 kilometres between Machadodorp and Patattanek. It used to extend farther south past Ermelo to Amersfoort, but this is now designated as part of the N11.

  AUTHOR
Narda Vermaak
Journalist

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