Rhodes works cause traffic jams

Road users are urged to find alternative routes during the resurfacing of Rhodes Avenue.

More than 2.5km of Rhodes Avenue is being resurfaced and road users are asked to approach the area with caution or plan alternative routes to avoid the roadworks.

A stop-and-go system has been in place between Union Avenue and Canterbury Drive in Newlands, since Monday November 20.

“Given the number of vehicles that use this stretch of road, the roadworks will unfortunately come with a level of inconvenience and frustration, but I appeal to residents to please be patient as they stand to benefit when the project is completed,” said the City’s Mayco member for area south, Eddie Andrews.

“We have planned to go ahead to ensure that work is completed as quickly as possible and we thank residents for their understanding.”

According to the City, a survey showed that about 12 000 vehicles drive on this road daily in both directions during the week and it is used by local commuters and commuters from other southern suburbs.

It is also the main access to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

Mr Andrews confirmed that roadworks would be halted during the builders’ holiday period which runs from Friday December 15 to Monday January 8, and that they aimed to complete the work on Rhodes Avenue by mid-April 2018, weather permitting.

“There will be no road closures and no work on Sundays in order to accommodate the Kirstenbosch summer concerts”, Mr Andrews said.

The stop-and-go system will be implemented between 9am and 3.30pm along the section where the roadworks are taking place, with an estimated waiting time of approximately 10 minutes.

Half-width road closures will be implemented and one lane is currently operational during the construction phase of the project.

Some road users were more than happy to hear that Rhodes Avenue would be resurfaced, but did not look forward to dealing with the traffic delays.

Newlands resident Michelle Strydom said the stretch of road remained a popular route for many and roadworks could cause a “traffic nightmare”.

“There are already delays without the roadworks and one can only imagine how much worse it could become with a stop-and-go system in place. I suppose one has to bite the bullet and think of how the improvements to Rhodes Avenue will become beneficial to road users once completed,” she said.

Manuel du Plessis, who travels from Bishopscourt, has opted to change his route into the CBD to avoid the congestion that will be caused by the roadworks.

When told that the estimated waiting time would be 10 minutes, according to the City, he laughed and said: “10 minutes? I don’t think the City took into consideration there is already traffic jams on this stretch of road, during the morning and afternoon rush periods.

“Add a few more minutes, possibly an hour, then the City’s estimation would be spot on.”

With students preparing for their final exams at the University of Cape Town, management have already requested that students make the necessary arrangements to avoid the congestion.

UCT spokesperson, Elijah Moholola, said they had advised students to use the Main Road as far as possible.

“Students are encouraged to factor the possible traffic delays into their plans for getting to exam venues.

“Our advice is that our students should make use of the Main Road where possible,” he said.

Mr Moholola added that with the exams currently being written by UCT students and schools in the area, they would support a reconsideration for the roadworks to be done outside of working hours.

“Even though these roadworks are carried out outside of the traffic rush hour period, there are bound to be traffic delays as that area generally carries a lot of traffic,” Mr Moholola said.

The City confirmed that the roadway was scheduled to be reopened by 3.30pm every day, “unless something unforseen occurs”.

For any further information, contact the City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority’s Transport Information Centre on 0800 65 64 63.

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