Road plan in fast lane

SUMMER JACOBS

The City of Cape Town’s transport authority, Transport for Cape Town, has joined forces with the Richmond Business Park development on a R100 million project to turn Plattekloof Road into a dual carriageway.

This expansion forms part of the conditions of approval for the new business park development, says Brett Herron, the City’s Mayco member for transport.

The project will begin in the next three weeks, if all goes according to plan.

Last year, Tabletalk reported on plans for a mixed-use development for Richmond Business Park, situated between the N7 and De Grendel Road (“Richmond Park set for multi-billion rand project,” Tabletalk, April 22 2015).

“We will spend approximately R100m on the project – first of all to build a new carriageway south of the existing Plattekloof Road and secondly to refurbish the existing Plattekloof Road after we have completed the construction of the new carriageway. Once completed, this important artery will be a dual carriageway all the way from the N7 freeway in the west to the N1 freeway in the east,” said Mr Herron.

The new carriageway would bring relief to motorists by easing traffic congestion, he said.

The dual carriageway will be done in three phases:

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* The first phase starts at the intersection with Tygerberg Valley Road. Contractors will construct the new dual carriageway next to (south of) the existing Plattekloof Road, all the way to the intersection with Bosmansdam Road, covering a distance of about 2.2km.

* The second phase will cover the section between Bosmansdam Road and Gert van Rooyen Avenue, covering a distance of approximately 1.2km.

* The third and final phase entails the rehabilitation of the existing Plattekloof Road and will only start after the new carriageway is completed.

“We are excited about this project and are looking forward to the benefits which this investment will bring to the local community. We have recorded a significant increase in our population the past 10 years or so, leading to a bigger demand for road infrastructure and developments such as the one that is envisioned in Richmond.

“As such, the City must plan ahead for future growth, and I am confident that the Plattekloof Road project will significantly contribute to the progress we want to see in the years to come,” said Mr Herron.

Richmond Business Park is financed by Atterbury Property and developed in partnership with Bethel Property, Qubic and the Richmond Park Communal Property Association.

Atterbury’s development manager for the Western Cape, Gerrit van den Berg, briefed the Richwood Ratepayers’ Association (RRA) about the development at the association’s annual general meeting on Tuesday March 29.

“He indicated that Atterbury will sponsor about R50m towards the dual carriageway,” said RRA chairman Danny Bolton, who has welcomed the announcement of the upgrade to the Plattekloof interchange.

He’s less happy though about the City’s plans to do away with the Plattekloof traffic circle and replace it with traffic lights.

“Though we welcome speed-calming measures, we do not welcome a set of robots between Plattekloof Road, Bothasig and Richwood. This will set us back another 10 years when we experienced major traffic congestion, which was thankfully replaced by the current traffic circle.

“In our opinion, the City must introduce a public participation which involves both the Richwood and Bothasig community,” said Mr Bolton.

Tabletalk sent Mr Van den Berg questions about the traffic circle as well as questions about the presentation he gave at the RRA meeting.

He said he had not given a formal presentation at the meeting and a lot would happen in the next two weeks on the project, after which he could give better feedback.

A brochure with information about the Richmond Business Park development claims it is ideally situated for easy access to and from the N1 via the N7 and Plattekloof Road.

“These highways will provide high-visibility exposure for businesses, who will also benefit from the over 130 000 households within a 10km radius,” it says, adding that various MyCiTi bus routes are planned for the area.

“One of these expansions will provide two bus stops on the Tygerberg Valley Road entrances to Richmond Park, optimising travel time to and from this prestigious mixed-use development,” it says.

Mr Herron said improvements to Tygerberg Valley Road, such as the provision of extra lanes and turning lanes, would follow within the next six months or so depending on the progress of the business park development.