Motorists can expect more delays on the N2 as a seven-kilometre stretch of the highway between Borcherds Quarry Road and the R300 undergoes a R186 million revamp.
The construction of a third lane in both directions began several weeks ago and is expected to be completed in the middle of next year, according to the provincial department of transport and public works.
Power Construction was appointed as the contractor for the project.
Transport and Public Works spokesperson, Byron la Hoe, said delays could be expected between 6am and 9am inbound, and 3pm and 7pm outbound.
He said the upgrade would improve the carrying capacity of the road, especially for buses and taxis in peak periods. About 82 000 vehicles pass through the affected stretch of the N2 every day.
The project includes piling and earthworks to prepare for the construction of a bridge near Borcherds Quarry and an interchange from Eisleben Road onto the N2.
“Traffic disruptions will be kept to a minimum, and two lanes will be open to vehicles at all times,” he said.
Mr La Hoe said the project would create 25 000 person-days of work for local labour from the City of Cape Town municipal area while R14.8 million of the contract value was expected to be spent on targeted Western Cape contractor businesses.
He said the revamping of the road would improve driving comfort. Better street lighting would also be installed.
“The contract has targets for job creation and economic empowerment. A proportion of the contract amount will be spent on employing and training locally-sourced contract labour, and a proportion on procuring goods and services from targeted Western Cape enterprises,” he said.
Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant appealed to motorists to be patient while the roads were under construction.
“The real issue for me is that we need to improve public transport. It gets worse before it gets better, so we need motorists to be patient. The upgrade will ease traffic in those areas,” he said.
Andile Khanyi, a member of the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations said: “We are supporting this because it will decrease traffic volumes in that area. We have been always crying out for a third lane in because of the problems we have there.
“But I must say we did not know what was happening there until now. We just see people working.”
The Borcherds Quarry Bridge, linking Airport Industria and Crossroads, will be constructed after the widening of the N2 is complete.
The intersection, north and south ramps, and road infrastructure connecting the new interchange to New Eisleben Road in Philippi East, will commence in early 2017 and continue until 2018.
When complete, the N2, Cape Town International Airport, Philippi East and Bellville will all be connected.
Construction is expected to be completed in February 2019.