Road Works on Hemel en Aarde Road
The Department of Transport and Public Works is currently upgrading the surface of the R320 Hemel en Aarde Road between Hermanus and Caledon. The current road works include the re-alignment of Shaw’s Mountain Pass. The estimated contract value is R186 million.
Construction originally commenced in March 2012 but the contract was terminated in November 2013.
In February 2015, the contract was awarded to a new service provider for completion.
The construction should be completed towards the end of 2015 after which motorists will be able to enjoy a safer travelling experience.
During April 2015, about 5.5 km of the full project length was completed and almost 1 km was partially completed. It is anticipated that a further 2.5 km and 1.8 km of the full project is expected to be completed and partially completed in the next couple of weeks.
To date, the contract has been extended by 41 days due to inclement weather.
In addition, a severe storm hit the area in November 2013 causing major damage. This has resulted in a further extension of time of 47 days. Materials have also proven to be a major concern. The biggest challenge remains to find suitable gravel wearing coarse, a specific material for non-surfaced roads, for the intended re-gravel of six kilometre of District Road 1 257, which forms part of the Main Road 269 upgrading project.
There are no road closures, however traffic is accommodated on one-way sections between km 12 and km 16 as well as between km 17 and 20. These kilometres are clearly indicated on R320. During construction, temporary one-way day-closures are occasionally deployed.
Economic Impact and Job Creation
Over the three year period, vast job creation opportunities were created for the local economy. To date, an amount of R21 million has been invested on targeted enterprises and R10 million on targeted labour on the project. Currently, there are also five local learnership candidates on site.
An on-site nursery was established at the start of the project to facilitate the rehabilitation of environmentally sensitive areas which included the critically endangered areas around Shaw’s Mountain Pass, as well as various wetland areas along the route.