Gautrain disruption due to begin

Posted On Friday, 10 November 2006 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Johannesburg is to lose one of its main arterial roads next month when construction begins on the Gautrain’s Rosebank Station, situated between Jellicoe Avenue and Baker Street.

Infrastructure IndustryJohannesburg is to lose one of its main arterial roads next month when construction begins on the Gautrain’s Rosebank Station, situated between Jellicoe Avenue and Baker Street.

The northbound lanes on Oxford Road, travelling from Johannesburg to Sandton, will be closed around the Rosebank area from December 8 for the next three years. Public transport, such as buses and minibus taxis, travelling in both directions will be diverted through Bath Road and then join up with Oxford Road via Baker and Bolton roads on the south end, or Jellicoe on the north end.

Vehicles travelling along Oxford Road toward Sandton will turn left into Bolton Road and then right into Sturdee and right again into Jellicoe to get back on to Oxford Road. The southbound lane of Oxford will remain in operation until February next year, when it will be diverted along the service road that runs in front of The Zone and is used for parking.

Residents and businesses lodged their objections when the proposal to close Oxford Road was first made a few years ago, raising concerns about dust, noise and the effect the project would have on businesses, particularly those attached to The Zone on Oxford Road. Etienne van der Lith, environmental manager for the Gautrain construction consortium Bombela, says all objections were considered and were taken into consideration when drawing up the road diversion plans.

“We are aware that Rosebank is one of Johannesburg’s busiest shopping areas and that the detours will have an impact on businesses in the area. We have worked with businesses and the shopping malls to try to ensure the detour has as little impact as possible,” he says. “They accept that Gautrain is a reality and they are also doing their part to ensure that the construction has as little impact on them as possible, by ensuring their customers are kept informed about the changes.” Van der Lith could not put a figure on the financial impact that the road changes would have.

Rosebank Station is to be situated 25m under Oxford Road with a parking area, and access next to Kingsmead College for Girls and from the shopping malls. The city is also considering a request by businesses in the area to change the date for implementation from Friday December 8 to Sunday December 10, as this first weekend is the second-busiest of the year for businesses in the malls.

“We have explained (to businesses) that we have already received permission from the city, the Johannesburg Road Agency and the metro police for the launch of the programme on that day and we have approached them to see if the date can be changed,” Van der Lith says. Access to Rosebank Mall will be from Bath Road or Cradock Avenue, while the Firs will be accessible only from Cradock. The Zone will have access from Cradock or the southbound lane of Oxford Road.

Concerns were raised by residents and businesses about the difficulty of reaching Rosebank Clinic and the police station as a result of the road changes. Van der Lith says these areas will be accessible via Sturdee Avenue, which will be a one-way road from Bolton to Jellicoe. Bombela CEO Denis Bouvet says work at the Rosebank site is progressing as expected. “The utility diversions on Oxford Road have been completed and we are now just waiting for Telkom to finish installing their new cables. This is expected to be completed by December 15.”

The removal and transplanting of trees in Jellicoe Road and Jan Smuts Avenue is expected to be completed by February.  “Since the signing of the concession agreement on September 28, we are in full project mode with over 1000 people working,” says Bouvet. “We are now signing up subcontractors and ploughing ahead.” At Sandton Station, the diversion of utilities is expected to be completed by the end of this month and “road diversions should be completed before the festive season breaks,” says Bouvet.

In Sandton, the construction of a temporary taxi rank and demolition of the Sandown Hall and block C of the municipal buildings are to begin shortly. Meanwhile, the moving of utilities at Park Station is under way in Smit and Wolmarans streets and preparations are being made to accommodate construction. The demolition of five buildings affected by the station, including the technical college, will be completed in January. At least 25% of the Mushroom Farm Park has been fenced in. The park will be rehabilitated by Bombela after construction is complete. 

 

Last modified on Monday, 04 November 2013 08:29

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