THE upgrade of the EB Cloete Interchange on the N2 is currently the largest road infrastructure project in South Africa. With a project value of R5-billion, Sanral says it is the biggest single project value undertaken by the state roads agency to date.
The upgrade includes the construction of a steel arch structure that will support the interchange.
In November 2022, Sanral attracted criticism when it awarded tenders for the N2/N3 EB Cloete project valued at R5,0-billion, as well as the N3 Ashburton upgrade (R2,4-billion) to China State Construction (CSC) Base Major JV.
The N2/N3 upgrade projects
The interchange project forms part of Sanral’s flagship N2/N3 corridor upgrade projects, which are expected to take between eight to ten years to complete and create up to 15,000 job opportunities over the duration of construction. The upgrade of the N2 will focus on a 55km length of road, from Lovu River on the South Coast to Umdloti on the North Coast. The N3 upgrade will focus on an 80km section from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. These upgrades will include the widening of the N2 and N3 carriageways, with four or five lanes in each direction, and the reconfiguration of most major interchanges, according to Sanral.
The N2 and N3 in KwaZulu-Natal form part of the national government’s key strategic integrated projects (SIP2): Durban-Free State-Gauteng Logistics and Industrial Corridor. Which aims to strengthen the logistics and transport corridor between South Africa’s main industrial hubs, improve access to Durban’s export and import facilities and raise efficiency along the corridor.
Such investment in road infrastructure upgrades, especially in rural and underdeveloped communities, provides an opportunity for generating economic growth, alleviating poverty, reducing inequality and increasing international competitiveness, says Sanral.
The awarded projects include the 19.4-kilometre stretch from Cato Ridge to the Dardanelles (commonly known as Umlaas Road) Interchange; 26.6 kilometres from the Dardanelles Interchange to Lynnfield Park and Lynnfield Park to Ashburton Interchange, which will be just over 32 kilometres.