Roadworks on the R61 between Beaufort West and Aberdeen
The Department of Transport and Public Works has started a R48 million periodic maintenance project to repair, reseal and resurface a 55 km stretch of the R61 near Beaufort West in the Central Karoo District. The R61 is a link road between Beaufort West and Aberdeen that serves local farming communities and that provides a link between the N1 and the Southern Cape. The contract was awarded to Knight Piésold Consulting and work commenced in January 2021. If everything goes according to plan, the project is expected to be complete in December 2021.
The section of road that falls under this maintenance contract was originally built in 1972. The scope of works includes repairing base failures on the road where necessary using emulsion-treated base patches, applying a slurry texture seal to the entire 55 km section, and applying a 14 mm bitumen rubber single seal. On contracts like this, where possible, labour-intensive methods supported by appropriate training must be used, and a proportion of the contract amount must be spent on targeted labour, targeted enterprises, local enterprises, and targeted labour. The contractor has made commitments in respect of targeted labour (79 labourers working a total of 5 200 labour-days), targeted enterprises (12.5% of the contract amount), and local enterprises (10% of the contract amount).
Traffic will be accommodated on the existing road. No full road closures are allowed. Half-width construction (closing one lane at a time) will be necessary and traffic flow on sections under construction will be managed using stop/ go controls. The safety and convenience of the travelling public are of utmost importance. Every effort will be made to ensure that all temporary road signs, cones, flag operators and speed controls are maintained and are effective, and that members of the public are treated with courtesy at all times. The public is requested to be patient, obey temporary speed limits, and exercise caution when using this road.
Well-maintained roads are important social goods that support the economic growth of the Western Cape by enabling the rapid movement of people and goods. They also provide access to opportunities for residents, for example, better access to work opportunities, economic opportunities, and social amenities. The Department understands that roadworks are frustrating for motorists, but the result will be a better and safer road for the benefit of all residents of the province.