Massive roads upgrade under way in the Sandton CBD

Road construction under way in the Sandton CBD is set to continue for most of 2016 with the City of Johannesburg investing R180 million in massive improvements to roads and pavements in Sandton Central – South Africa’s cosmopolitan financial and commercial hub.

Artist’s impression of what streets and pavements in Sandton’s CBD will look like once the R180 million roads upgrade by the City of Joburg is complete.

“It’s a welcome investment and forms part of some of the legacy projects in Sandton Central, following the hosting of the World EcoMobility Festival in October,” says Elaine Jack, city improvement district manager of Sandton Central Management District (SCMD).

She says there will be some inconvenience as construction continues, resulting in traffic congestion and access issues in the affected areas, but it’s a case of short term pain. After the upgrades are complete, the workers and residents of Sandton Central, as well as visitors, will benefit from the world-class infrastructure.

A key part of the development is to make Sandton’s streets more pedestrian and cycle friendly. Pedestrian sidewalks are being widened and new cycle lanes are being constructed as part of the upgrade of key roads in the Sandton CBD. The project entails new paving and tarring of roads as well as green landscaping and will include new signage and street furniture.

Jack says: “This is an important development for Sandton as it represents a major investment in public infrastructure. It will also make Sandton’s streets more walkable, which is an integral part of any vibrant CBD. The advent of the Gautrain and Sandton being home to one of its busiest stations, has resulted in more pedestrians on the streets of Sandton.

“With the Reya Vaya BRT link into Sandton set to be complete in a couple of years and the city’s drive to get more people eco mobile, there will be even more commuters into Sandton and more pedestrians on its streets. All this makes the current investment in the roads upgrade in Sandton essentially an investment in the future of the neighbourhood.”

Jack says the much-needed roads infrastructure upgrade will without doubt help entrench Sandton Central as the corporate head office hub of the country.

“Good infrastructure is key to Sandton retaining existing businesses, and attracting leading corporates and new business to this vibrant commercial centre.”

While construction continues on roads in Sandton Central, the node is home to several major private sector driven property developments. Sandton is well established, but its strong reputation as SA’s financial hub attracted unprecedented new office and mixed-use development in recent years.

Jack says: “The road upgrade is a complicated project that involves undertaking construction in a busy commercial centre already bustling with building activity. Road construction in a CBD also entails detecting and moving bulk services. As a result of these complexities, the roads upgrade is being carried out in phases.

“While road construction is underway, it is going to require the workers, residents and visitors to Sandton to be a bit more tolerant of the inconveniences that arise. It may mean that planning trips better, using public transport or deciding to walk. The EcoMobility Festival in October showed what can be done.”

The roads upgrade project in the Sandton CBD is being undertaken by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), which is an agency of the City of Johannesburg.

The timelines and construction programme for the roads upgrade project in the Sandton CBD provided by the JDA are:

November 2015 to March 2016 – West Street south bound, construction of pedestrian sidewalks.

January to April 22 – Upgrade of Maude Street between Rivonia Road and Gwen Lane. This includes new cycle lanes and pedestrian sidewalks as well as service detection and relocation of services.

February to June – Upgrade of Maude Street between Gwen Lane and West Street. This includes new cycle lanes and pedestrian sidewalks as well as service detection and relocation of services.

April to August – Upgrade and paving of Maude Street from West Street and Fifth. This includes new cycle lanes and pedestrian sidewalks as well as service detection and relocation of services.

February to October – Pavement strengthening on Rivonia Road.

April to November – Pavement strengthening along Fredman Drive.

June to November– Pavement strengthening along Fifth.

August 2015 to November 2016 – Upgrade of Alice Street. This includes new pedestrian sidewalks as well as service detection and relocation of services.

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