Civil Designer Showcase

Designing Road Infrastructure in Gauteng

The Lanseria N14 Link

In February 2009, Aphane Consulting Engineers were appointed by the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport, to design and construct a two-lane dual carriageway along the provincial road P103-2 (K29) between the N14 freeway and Road K31 (Lanseria Airport).

The scope of the R375M project encompasses the construction of an additional bridge over the N14 and related access ramps between the N14 and K29 located within the Krugersdorp District of Gauteng Province.

It includes the construction of five intersections for access roads along the K29 - incorporating two surfaced and nine gravel roads - and the addition of 8 taxi lay-byes together with 5km of concrete pedestrian walkways and cycle lanes that were designed with Civil Designer, software developed and supplied by Knowledge Base.

K29 Road with 5m cut
K29 Road with 5m cut

According to Fhatuwani Muravha, Aphane's Geometric Designer, a total of 120 drawings were compiled in the upgrade of existing roads and the design of new road infrastructure. In the case of the former, Muravha worked off preliminary drawings dating back to 1974.

Having to upgrade the existing road to conform to the latest GAUTRANS criterion for the vertical and horizontal alignments meant a lot of redesign.

Says Muravha, "In the case of the K31, I used the same centre lines but recalculated the vertical and horizontal alignments on Civil Designer. Everything from the cut and fills to the route determinations for the road infrastructure was done using the software.

Throughout the project, it was important that I was able to collaborate with the Customer Support Manager at Knowledge Base. I would send Brett Pureveen a cross-section in CAD and receive a Civil Designer cross-section template in return."

K29 and 6th Road (Fourways) Intersection

Aphane's designs also had to ensure optimal use of existing materials by balancing cuts and fills as much as possible.

"As you can see from the bridge, we had a big cut in addition to that from the K33. A property owner in the area offered us free spoil, and in return he was happy because he got a flat piece of land out of the arrangement."

K29 and N14 Bridge

When asked about the specific complications of the project, Muravha concedes that there were many challenges, but having to keep both the K29 bridge and N14 highway open for traffic throughout the construction period was a challenging feat.

The construction of the R40m bridge traversing the N14 was particularly daunting for Aphane and the sub-consultants on this portion of the project.

In order to facilitate the free flow of traffic during its construction, the bridge had to be designed one metre above its final position.

The final lowering process required a series of hydraulic jacks and steel packer plates that acted as temporary supports. These were removed one a time whilst gauges were used to monitor any potential deflection of the deck.

For the team at Aphane Consulting however, this was all part of a day's work and well worth the effort. The project will result in manifold benefits such as improved mobility of the high traffic volumes leading to Lanseria Airport, better access to the surrounding developments, as well as vital skills transfer via training of local SMMEs and labourers.

The intended vision of the framework for the Lanseria precinct is to create mixed-use nodes north of the N14 and to develop higher land use concentration that will optimise the strategic value of the area by accommodating a mix of work, community and high-density residential uses.

An important part of the long-term plan is the implementation of a comprehensive transportation network comprising extensive freeway and distributor road networks for vital north-south and east-west linkages.

Priority has been given to the PWV5 freeway from Cosmo City to Midrand, the K56 to create an east-west linkage between Cosmo City, Fourways and Kyalami to Midrand as well as the K33 that will link Lanseria and Chartwell to the northern suburbs of Johannesburg.

According to the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality's Spatial Development Framework, a collector road network is proposed to supplement the distributor road network. It has two links traversing the western sub-region.

"Currently the Western Sub-region is characterised by mostly rural land uses. The only exceptions to this are Kya Sand commercial area and Lanseria Airport, both located along the K29 (Malibongwe Drive).

To further strengthen the emerging K29 corridor, it is proposed that commercial development as well as limited residential development be encouraged along the K29."

Proud to be part of the construction of this vital infrastructure for Gauteng, Muravha says he looks forward to other similar projects in the pipeline.

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