THERE is growing concern over the traffic congestion leading up to the festive season period in the uMhlanga CBD as road upgrades to widen Lagoon Drive and Lighthouse Road are ongoing.
Last week, members of the uMhlanga Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (URRA), as well as uMhlanga ward councillor Nicole Bollman, expressed their misgivings over timeframes given for the upgrades which are meant to be completed by December 14, the unofficial start to the December holidays.
Earlier this year, the City said roadworks around the R4-billion Oceans Mall catalytic development would be completed in October.
However, that deadline was moved to November and then December.
Speaking to Northglen News, Terri MacLarty, chairperson of URRA, said it looked ‘highly unlikely’ that work would be completed by December 14.
“Currently, in the village, there is a Stop/Go system in place on either end of the Oceans Development. That system is to allow for cranes operating on the development and is meant to be in place until December 3. With December 14 being the start of the official holiday season, it is unlikely work to upgrade the road network will be completed by then despite the City and developers working towards that goal. Our concerns really centre around traffic congestion and what it means for residents and holidaymakers navigating the spaces,” she said.
“Our objection as the ratepayers’ body was that infrastructure work should have been completed before any work to the mall and residential block was undertaken. As a result of that, heavy-duty vehicles moving in and out of the area will impact further on traffic in the area. We are exploring all avenues to hold the Oceans and eThekwini accountable and get the service promised delivered,” she said.
uMhlanga ward councillor Nicole Bollman also expressed her concerns about traffic congestion in the village, describing it as ‘chaotic’.
“With regards to the upgrade of the road infrastructure, the timing is a concern. The hoist that is currently in place for the Stop/Go system is due to come down by December 3, and the work to complete the widening of Lagoon Drive and the installation of traffic circles is due to be completed by December 14. Currently, Lagoon Drive, Lighthouse Road, Chartwell Drive and McCausland Crescent are affected by the upgrades.
“I do fully agree that the road upgrades are needed, however, I don’t personally see it being completed by December 14. What that means is more congestion in December. There is also the issue of finding a public transport ranking solution for the taxi associations to be considered. I have called for a stakeholders’ meeting for anyone who has an interest, and I would like commitment from the City that they will attend as various issues around the roads, water and sewerage infrastructure need to be addressed,” she said.
At the time of being published, the eThekwini Municipality had not responded.