The City of Cape Town will soon commence with the construction of a freestanding elevated traffic circle, the first of its kind in South Africa, at the intersection of Govan Mbeki Road (M9) and Jan Smuts Drive (M17) in Hanover Park.
The investment will benefit the surrounding communities of Hanover Park, Philippi, Lansdowne/Wetton and Yorkshire Estate and will transform the surrounding landscape.
The City says this project showcases innovative engineering and forms part of the roll-out of the MyCiTi service to the metro-south east.
It will take about four years to complete, with the City investing in the new infrastructure and upgrades at the said intersection in Hanover Park.
According to the City there are numerous benefits of the elevated traffic circle and other upgrades:
- MyCiTi commuters will get a reliable service that runs on time, according to schedule
- Travelling times for MyCiTi commuters will be shorter
- Other road users will benefit from improvements at the intersection below, these will assist with traffic flow, thereby easing congestion
- Pedestrians and cyclists will have dedicated lanes, separated from the road
About R15 million will be spent on temporary work opportunities for residents who are registered on the local jobseekers database; as well as R15 million for local subcontractors to provide goods and services to the main contractor for this project.
The project will commence on 7 July 2022, if all goes as planned, but residents will see major construction activity on site only about three months later as it takes time to set up the work area.
A sky circle:
- The new elevated traffic circle at the intersection of Govan Mbeki Road and Jan Smuts Drive can be described as a hollow circle in the sky, letting in light to the intersection below.
- The traffic circle will be about 6,2m above the ground, and will be for the exclusive use of the MyCiTi buses, once complete.
- The free standing elevated circle will be the first in South Africa.
- A visual impact assessment formed part of the design and approval process.
- Given that the elevated traffic circle is hollow, there will be sufficient light reaching the ground level.
By separating the MyCiTi buses from general traffic, the City will ensure the service operates optimally between Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha and Wynberg and Claremont without being delayed by the traffic or congestion at the ground level of the intersection.
This design will benefit MyCiTi commuters as it will reduce the travelling time to their destinations.
The proposed Hanover Park closed median station is the closest MyCiTi station to this intersection and will serve commuters along the trunk route to operate along Govan Mbeki Road.
The station will be built at a later stage, closer to the implementation date of the service.
Other road users will also benefit from significant upgrades:
The intersection at Govan Mbeki Road and Jan Smuts Drive experiences congestion during peak hour periods.
Included in this project are interventions to improve traffic flow with:
- the reconfiguration of the intersection;
- dedicated turning lanes;
- improved traffic signals; and
- improved signalisation or sequencing
Pedestrians and cyclists will benefit from dedicated lanes for walking and cycling along Govan Mbeki Drive and at the intersection, and streetlights will be installed to improve visibility and safety at night.
Existing sewer, water and stormwater infrastructure within the road reserve will be relocated and upgraded, which means improved services to the surrounding communities.