Joburg M2 East bridge in urgent need of repair

Herman Mashaba
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) is in the process of redirecting funds from other projects to attend to urgent maintenance operations on sections of the M2 bridge.

This comes after officials alerted Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba of structural defects on the Kazerne and Selby sections, which pose a danger to road users.

Mashaba said a bridge specialist has completed a detailed assessment of the M2 East bridge and the report showed defects after years of neglect.

These included that the bridge column G18 and column head have severe cracks that has affected the structural integrity of the bridge.

Already, this part of the bridge has been stopped for public use until it is repaired.

“The condition of roads across the City of Johannesburg have been a matter of concern to me, not only do they need to be safe for public use, they are integral to connecting our residents who commute daily,” Mashaba said.

The City of Johannesburg has a total of 902 bridges that are maintained and managed by the JRA. However, only 4% of them are in good condition.

“If the budget for rehabilitation is not carried out soon and the section of bridge collapses, the M2 motorway will be closed to traffic and the congestion on roads around and in the inner city will dramatically increase. This in turn will have severe consequences on the economy and mobility of citizens and visitors of the City of Johannesburg... It is envisaged that work will begin mid-October once all supply chain management processes are completed. The overall budget required to address the identified issues is approximately R58m,” Mashaba said.

Procurement processes are under way to allow for construction to commence in a couple of weeks. Construction work on the bridge is estimated to last 12 months.

The work will cause delays on the Modderfontein Road Bridge, Avenue Bridge and Joe Nhlanhla Bridge. Motorists are advised to make use of alternate roads.

Only one lane will be closed during construction. The city plans to keep disruptions to a minimum and will do most of the work during the night to prevent the need to close down the entire bridge.

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