Johannesburg motorists on Monday no longer needed to battle congestion, detours and frustration as the M2 bridge was reopened following $11.4 million overhaul that took close to eight months.
JMPD spokesperson Senior Superintendent Wayne Minnaar told eNCA that 300 officers had to be deployed every morning and afternoon to deal with traffic congestion since the start of the reconstruction in February this year.
Minnaar said criminals took advantage of the heavy traffic, robbing motorists of cellphones and laptops, which necessitated the deployment of a specialized crime-prevention unit. Hundreds of security guards were also deployed by the private sector.
Outgoing City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba on Thursday said the initiative was part of his legacy as he prepares to bow out at the end of November.
“The reopening of the M2 motorway, as scheduled, is one of my proudest moments as the mayor of the City of Johannesburg. It is the culmination of many months of sheer hard work by engineers and construction workers led by the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA).
The M2 motorway, which is more than 60 years old, carries approximately 10 500 vehicles per hour in both directions during peak hours.
The closure was necessitated by continuous monitoring and the bridge visual conditions assessment, which indicated that the structural integrity of the concrete elements was severely reduced.
Mashaba said eight more bridge structures along the M2 required repairs and rehabilitation, but the JRA does not envisage these requiring any further closures.