Roads long closed or disrupted for construction are to open as work on the Gautrain steams ahead. The full phase two of the rapid rail link is expected to be operational by the end of June.
DRIVERS will soon be able to let out a sigh of relief, with busy roads on the verge of being completely reinstated as construction on the Gautrain nears its end. In particular, Oxford, Bolton and Baker streets in Rosebank will soon be free of dust and construction vehicles.
Oxford Road in RosebankOpening of Oxford Road in Rosebank will be done in phases“The phased reinstatement of Oxford Road adjacent to the station is ongoing,” says the spokesperson for the Gautrain, Barbara Jensen.
These works are being carried out on a phased basis to enable the two station entrances and the ventilation structure located on the western side of Oxford Road to be constructed.
Baker Street and Bolton Road are a hive of activity as work carries on furiously to complete the western entrances and ventilation shaft. The escalator and lift have been installed, stair tiling is complete and finishing touches are under way within the entrances.
“The exact details on how the reinstatements in Rosebank will be implemented are still in planning. We are looking at reinstating these roads by the end of April,” says the media manager for the Bombela Concession Company, Kelebogile Machaka.
The first Electrostar train arrived in Rosebank in January, and testing of the train and signal system has been taking place between Rosebank and Pretoria.
Central Johannesburg can also look forward to more free-flowing traffic. Two streets have already been opened to traffic, with a remaining two to follow shortly. “The reinstatement of Wolmarans Street and Smit Street is complete and both of these roads are open to traffic,” Jensen says.
“Reinstatement of the two remaining roads bordering Park Station – Eloff and Joubert streets – is also substantially complete, but these will not be opened to traffic until the station external works are further progressed.”
Work at Park Station is moving along at a cracking pace, with all structural work for the station and parkade having been finished. This includes the concrete ventilation chamber at the northern end of the platforms.
Wolmarans and Smit streets were closed off during constructionWolmarans and Smit streets were closed off during constructionTicket vending machines and fare gates have been fitted on the concourse level, and mechanical and electrical installations are in progress in the underground station. Platform tiling and internal finishes are near completion.
The underground works between Park and Sandton stations are well on their way to conclusion. Civil works have been finished, with track-laying almost complete.
Emergency access shafts are a major component of the underground construction, and four of the seven shafts are mostly complete, with work at the other three ongoing. The emergency shafts are located at intervals along the tunnel between Park and Sandton stations.
“At the bottom of certain of these shafts, there will be safe havens where passengers can gather in case of an emergency,” she says.
The emergency shafts can be found in Hillbrow, Riviera, Dunkeld in Rosebank, Illovo and Rivonia Road in Sandton; there are two shafts in Houghton.
Phase two of the Gautrain, which once completed will have routes between Park Station and Pretoria, is scheduled to be up-and-running by the end of June.
The Gautrain’s first phase became operational in June 2010, just before the start of the FIFA football World Cup. It is made up of the airport and commuter links. The airport link joins Sandton with OR Tambo International Airport, and the commuter facility connects the Sandton station with Rhodesfield, with a stop at the Marlboro base.
Fares for the airport link are R100, and for a single train ride it costs R16,50 between Sandton and Marlboro, R18,50 between Marlboro and Rhodesfield and R21 between Sandton and Rhodesfield. For a train and bus trip at one end, it costs R22,50 between Sandton and Marlboro, R24,50 between Marlboro and Rhodesfield and R27 between Sandton and Rhodesfield.
Fares for the phase two routes will be announced at a later stage, Jensen says.
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