Gauteng generates almost 38 per cent of the total value of South Africa’s economic activities. The Gauteng Province experienced exponential growth in terms of its housing, office, retail and industrial needs over the past 10 years. Unfortunately, infrastructure provision, and particularly transportation related infrastructure, was not implemented in pace with the other infrastructure. The situation quickly became serious and lead to negative impacts on the socio-economic fabric of the Province, as well as the entire country. Government then took a decision to implement infrastructure projects aimed at increasing the capacity of the roads infrastructure.
To address the situation, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) initiated a programme called the Gauteng Freeways Scheme. The programme was divided into two phases, the first of which involves the upgrading of the most congested portions of the existing 560 km freeway network surrounding Johannesburg and Pretoria. This phase is scheduled for completion in late 2010.
Aurecon was privileged to be invited to participate in the implementation of phase 1. The group was given the responsibility of planning, design and contract administration on the section of road from the Brakfontein to R21 interchanges on the N1 freeway between Pretoria and Centurion.
The works include widening existing freeway lanes in both directions, as well as upgrading three interchanges. The structural work included the widening of six existing bridges and the construction of four new bridges, one of which is a 240m long incrementally launched bridge.
Aurecon believes in engineering which aims at integrating processes and systems for quantitative and qualitative analysis in order to make design choices that reflect newer, better ways of achieving project success. It was this philosophy that assisted in the delivery of quality solutions for the GFIP.
The upgraded and expanded freeway network will significantly reduce traffic congestion, stimulate economic growth, positively impact the environment and improve commuters’ quality of life.
In 2011 Aurecon was recognised for its design of the R21/N1 incrementally launched bridge with an award of commendation for Innovative Technologies, presented at the Fulton Awards of Excellence in the Use of Concrete.