The multi-million rand construction programme for the Rustenburg Rapid Transport (RRT) network has made significant headway this year, and continues to create jobs for the local communities, despite a few challenges, says RRT design and construction manager Amogelang Kgoathe.
She adds that, “it has been an intense year” of construction activity and a process of managing various contracts which are all in different stages of completion.
“The Rustenburg public have been extremely patient, despite impacts on traffic patterns,” she adds.
On Corridor A or the R104, road-works have been completed, as well as pedestrian and cycle paths, says Kgoathe.
The next stage will be the construction of the bus rapid transit (BRT) stations.
“The station construction tender is currently at adjudication and construction is likely to start before the end of the year, she says, adding that this will be the corridor on which the Phase 1A routes will be operating from March 2016.
On the R510 (Corridor B), work on the road-over-rail bridge is progressing well, and should be open for use by the middle of 2015.
The considerable road construction from the taxi rank up to the bridge is also on track for completion by the end of 2014, although, she notes that summer rains do play a considerable role in road construction schedules.
The R510 road construction from the rail bridge up to the Boitekong turn-off is also under way and on schedule for completion by the end of next year in time for the stations to be built and for Phase 1B of operations to commence.
The final section of the R510 bus lanes from Boitekong up to Kanana started in July and will include the rebuilding of the Bospoort dam bridge to make it higher, wider and longer.
“When the dam was rebuilt in 2009/10, the dam wall was made higher than the bridge and this contract enables us to make the bridge safer for all road users,” says Kgoathe.
This part of the road construction will be completed by early 2018 and will be used for Phase 2 routes and operations, she adds.
In addition to the roads and stations construction programme, the design of the bus depots will also start this year.
“The consultants to be appointed will be designing both a temporary depot for our Phase 1A operations, as well as the permanent depots where the new bus operating companies will be located,” concludes Kgoathe.
Job creation on the RRT construction programme continues to grow and since the start of the project construction in mid 2012, a total of 926 jobs have been created on the infrastructure programme as of the end of August.
“The proper channels for employment opportunities are to ensure that skills and availability are registered with the ward councillor on a labour database and that if, and when, jobs become available potential candidates will be contacted by the construction company’s labour desk officer,” explains Kgoathe.
According to the RRT, the platinum strike earlier this year had a noticeable effect on the construction programme, as the mine waste was being provided at no cost and being used as fill for the roads.
Kgoathe explains that during the strike, the materials could no longer be accessed, and the project had to source alternative fill material at a cost that impacted on the project’s finance.
“We are now back on track to be able to recycle mine waste in road construction,” she adds.