The upgrade of 29.9km of road running from Polokwane to Strydomsloop includes adding wide surfaced shoulders, several intersection upgrades, passing lanes to improve capacity and safety, and an access management plan. It is anticipated that major rehabilitation of four bridges and the addition of Non-Motorised Transport walkways in Polokwane’s Central Business District will form part of the upgrade. Construction is expected to start mid-2024 and will take an estimated 24 months to complete.
The R521 is the only route for many Limpopo residents to get access to employment opportunities in Polokwane and the route also functions as a gateway to the unique bushveld biosphere in northern Limpopo. Improving the condition of this road will not only benefit local residents but also the tourism industry and cross-border traffic headed for Botswana.
Speaking on value-add Warren McLachlan, Professional Engineer, Roads and Highways, says that on previous projects, SMEC developed innovative strategies for optimising the implementation of passing lanes on two-lane highways to get the most congestion-relieving benefit out of the same total area of pavement. “These strategies and lessons learned on previous projects will be applied to this appointment to maximise the public’s benefit from this upgrade.”
SMEC South Africa’s involvement in this route dates back to the 1980s when it was involved in the implementation and maintenance of routes under the jurisdiction of the old Transvaal Provincial Administration’s Roads Branch.
Specialists from SMEC’s Water Resources team will deliver technical presentations at the 2023 Floodplain Management Australia National Conference in Sydney. The annual event has been hosted by the FMA for over 50 years, and is the most esteemed flood risk management forum of its kind in Australia.
The SMEC RITES JV has been overseeing the management and implementation of the Haryana Orbital Rail Corridor (HORC) project since early 2022, with foundation stone laid in October 2022 by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
SMEC has been engaged by DT Global, through the Australian Government-funded Economic and Social Infrastructure Program (ESIP), to undertake a feasibility study for the rehabilitation of the Pauanda Hydropower Project in Papua New Guinea.
SMEC’s bridge structures specialists are presenting technical papers at the 2023 Australian Small Bridges Conference, Australasia’s largest bridge exhibition, held on the Gold Coast, Australia. The Conference will feature a comprehensive exhibition, providing attendees the opportunity to view and discuss innovative products and services now available from bridge contractors, designers and suppliers.