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Cape Town traffic woes set to worsen

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Residents and businesses in the deep south, who have had to cope with eight years of traffic delays from the ongoing rehabilitation of Main Road, are set to face another three years of roadworks on Kommetjie Main Road and Ou Kaapseweg.

The city is hoping to alleviate the severe congestion along Kommetjie Main Road and Ou Kaapseweg, and said the intention is to have two-way traffic flow at all times.

But Janine Myburgh, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, described the situation of having major problems on both road routes to the South Peninsula as well as on the railway line as being “like a perfect storm”.

However, she said the road improvements were long overdue and in the long-term interests of the South Peninsula, so there was little alternative but to put up with the inconvenience in the short term.

Myburgh said because of the Main Road rehabilitation – which started in 2008 – more people had been forced to use Ou Kaapseweg, which was now severely congested.

She said there had been a great deal of residential development in the Noordhoek Valley and along Kommetjie Road, so traffic growth had been quite exceptional.

Two new shopping centres in Sun Valley and Noordhoek had attracted even more traffic, including commercial delivery vehicles and they all had to use Ou Kaapseweg, Myburgh added.

She said the chamber was also concerned about the effect on tourism because there was now effectively only one route to Cape Point – over Chapman’s Peak and down Glencairn Expressway to Simon’s Town.

Capacity limitations

Patrick Dowling, who heads the Kommetjie Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association and the Far South Peninsula Community Forum, said he hoped the authorities did not think that by improving internal road systems to cope with current demand, it would give them the green light for thousands more units being approved and built in the area.

“The three major access routes to the valley and their inherent capacity limitations still remain an issue. We have not seen detailed plans on how to resolve it,” Dowling said.

Mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron said the work would be undertaken in two contracts, the first of which was planned to start before the end of 2016 and finish by mid-2019, if all went according to plan.

It would entail the upgrade of Kommetjie Main Road, between Ou Kaapseweg and a point just west of Capri Drive, to a four-lane dual-carriageway with shoulders/cycleways and pavements for pedestrians.

It would also include the upgrade of Ou Kaapseweg between Kommetjie Main Road and a point just north of Noordhoek Road to a four-lane dual-carriageway, also with shoulders/cycleways and pavements for pedestrians as well as the upgrade of the Silvermine Road/Ou Kaapseweg intersection.

Herron said the second contract would include the upgrade of Kommetjie Main Road between Capri Drive and Houmoed Avenue, but that was still in the planning stage.

Regarding the ongoing Main Road rehabilitation, Herron said the stop/go system was expected to be in place until mid-September 2016, after which the remaining construction work could be carried out while maintaining two-way traffic.

“The provisional completion date is October/November 2017, pending bad weather and any unforeseen challenges.”

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