In 2008, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) appointed Zutari to review and update the detailed design of National Route 4, Section 12 (N4/12), which is an important link between the North West and Gauteng Provinces and connects to the N4 on the Bakwena Highway. This section also forms part of the PWV network of roads.
The project entailed the design and construction of the on- and offramps at the Zandfontein interchange, a new parclo-type interchange with an underpass bridge, the construction of a 6 km, four-lane undivided carriageway, and the construction of a game underpass complete with grass blending. Zutari’s role included managing the tender documentation and evaluation as well as administering and monitoring the project.
One of the main challenges of the project was the fact that the road cuts through the Magaliesburg mountain range. The team had to find a way not to interfere with the fauna so that it could still cross from one side to the other without negatively impacting the aesthetics or the biodiversity. To minimise the extent of the cutting through the Magaliesburg mountains, Zutari investigated various cut slope configurations, including single slope, benched cut and stepped cuts with retaining walls. In the end, stepped cuts with retaining walls were the most desirable option from an aesthetic and environmental point of view.
During the construction phase, the contractor investigated the option to shape the retaining walls to look like natural rock formations. This resulted in the retaining walls adding a natural appearance to the setting and greatly enhancing the aesthetics of the cutting. Numerous indigenous trees were also planted as an added feature to the cut slopes.
The team had to find a way not to interfere with the fauna so that it could still cross from one side to the other without negatively impacting the aesthetics or the biodiversity.
The project outcome was a road that not only conforms to the functional requirements of the client by improving the road network, but also brings an aesthetically pleasing addition to the area with a minimal impact on the environment. Furthermore, 265 labourers were employed each month and 22 sub-contractors – of whom 13 were targeted enterprises.
“This project would not have been a success if it wasn’t for the commitment of all the parties involved to provide an end product one can be proud of,” said Abdul Hay, SANRAL Project Manager.
*The Aurecon Africa business has been officially renamed Zutari as at 21 July 2020. Zutari acquired Aurecon Middle East on 20 November 2020.