The Roads Department at the Ethekwini Municipality has been involved in many large-scale projects in the last few years.
Some of these projects have included major arterial roads within the City of Durban, such as the Umbilo Arterial, NMR Avenue, Sarnia Arterial and more recently, the North Coast Road which has since been completed at a final project cost of R150 million.
Other more recent projects where Civil Designer software was used extensively, include the upgrading of the M4 freeway from Virginia Airport to the M41, a project that was completed at the end of 2004 as well as the proposed upgrading of the Stanger/Argyle /M4 intersection.
The Stanger/Argyle/M4 intersection is due to commence in July 2006 and has an estimated project cost of R50 million. The design of the project entails converting the existing intersection into a full diamond interchange. "We were responsible for designing the horizontal and vertical alignment as well as the stormwater drainage structures," says area project engineer Brian Cadle from Ethekwini Municipality.
M4 Stanger Argyle intersection
The project is a typical multidisciplinary project involving the relocation of major services as well as the design of a bridge over the M4. The relocation of services include major sewers, estimated at a cost of R1 million; a stormwater culvert, estimated at a cost of R4 million; numerous electrical cables, estimated at a cost of R2 million; and the relocation of a large Telkom fibre-optic service estimated at a cost of R1,2 million.
The M4 was designed as a dual carriageway road with a bridge over the M4. "It took us about two months to complete the stormwater design as well as the horizontal and vertical alignment on the project. A three-dimensional visual display of the bridge was created in Civil Designer in order to help us with the actual design. We also appointed Jeffares & Green Consulting Engineers to handle the bridge structure as well as the geotechnical work on the assignment," explains Cadle.
Another design challenge was the design speed. "We had to ensure that the design speed conformed to the required horizontal and vertical design criteria within a restricted environment," notes Cadle. The design of the services for the interchange is currently underway. The full project is likely to start in the next two years once funding has been finalised and will be tackled as one big project.
Upgrading the M4 freeway from Virginia Airport to the M41
The upgrading of the M4 freeway from Virginia Airport to the M41 was initiated by the Department of Traffic and Transportation. The project entailed the widening of a two-lane arterial to a four-lane arterial road and the installation of a New Jersey barrier to help minimise the existing vehicle accident rate. A survey was performed on the road as the road stretched over a length of 4 km. The project has recently been completed. According to Cadle, there is still a lot in store for the Roads Department when it comes to large-scale road initiatives.
M4 from Virginia Circle to M41