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The bigger Le Roux Bridge opens over the Joburg-Pretoria highway this evening in the next step of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project to ease traffic flow.
THE new Le Roux Bridge across the N1 highway, between the Allandale and New Road interchanges, will open to traffic at 9pm this evening.

The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) says the old bridge was too short to provide for the additional lanes that are being added to the freeway as part of its Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP). The busy road links Johannesburg and Pretoria.

There is enough room on the new bridge to span the additional lanes that have been constructed, and it is ready for traffic.

Motorists will be diverted from the old bridge on to the new one, without the traffic flow being affected. However, they should still exercise caution as the old bridge will be demolished over the weekend of 21 to 23 January.

Sanral also urges road users to observe road signs and stick to the speed limit. The agency says: “The changeover of traffic to the new bridge has been scheduled in off-peak hours to avoid any major impact on the flow of traffic during the normal working week.”

During phase one of the GFIP, 34 interchanges were upgraded, including Allandale, Atterbury, Linksfield, Rivonia, William Nicol and Gilloolys. Highways have been widened to at least four to six lanes in both directions in some sections. In phase one, 185 kilometres of highway are being upgraded. A further 376 kilometres will be upgraded and built.

Successful commuter transport relies on different modes being offered, such as high occupancy vehicle lanes, Gautrain, Rea Vaya and Metrorail. The aim of the freeway improvement project is to create links between the different modes of transport, and to allow people to choose public transport or lift clubs to alleviate congestion, the agency explains.

Sanral was established in April 1998. It is a state-owned entity, responsible for the design, financing, maintenance, operation and rehabilitation of the country’s national toll and non-toll roads.

Toll roads
An Open Road Tolling (ORT) system will also soon be in place on the province’s freeways. A multilane free-flow electric tolling system, it will be piloted from April. Using the system, tolls can be charged without vehicles having to stop or slow down.

Sanral is adding the finishing touches to its 42 toll gantries around the province, which will be fully fitted with toll collection equipment that will recognise the electric transponder, or etag, that will be fitted on vehicles.

Toll fees will be deducted from the user’s registered etoll account, allowing them to travel without disruptions. It will work by photographing the vehicle’s number plate from the front and back as part of the verification process, and for those vehicles that do not have an etag.

Cash collected as toll fees will be used to upgrade and expand the freeway networks so that they will be able to accommodate traffic demands.

Cameras fitted as part of the ORT system will be able to read the existing and metal variation number plates. The new number plate system is an eNatis initiative and Sanral is adhering to the specifications by ensuring that the toll equipment can work with all new and old number plates.

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