R66/R34 intersection at Nkwaleni needs intervention

A common sight at the intersection – traffic officials directing traffic as a heavy vehicle lies on its side, blocking one lane PHOTO: Larry Bentley

THE R66/R34 intersection at Nkwaleni continues to take its toll, with hardly a week going past without an incident.

Heavy vehicles failing to negotiate the bend is becoming common place, causing the partial closure of the intersection and usually total closure during recovery operations.

Authorities have put various measures in place, including heavy duty barriers on the outside of the bend, ‘speed bumps’ and low speed restrictions, but these have not solved the problem.

It appears that the only solution would be a total re-alignment of the road to mitigate the hairpin bend as one approaches the intersection from Empangeni.

What is certain, is that the situation needs to be addressed, as lives, damages to vehicles and loss of goods continue to be reported.

This is over and above the sporadic targeting of motorists by hijackers who have taken advantage of the situation and brazenly hold up motorists who slow down or stop.

These hijackings occur day and night, but especially in the evenings and mornings.

This is also a major pedestrian node for travellers between Melmoth. eShowe and Empangeni.

Taxis use the intersection as a terminal, which means that there are always people waiting for lifts, thus making the policing of the area difficult.

It is also not uncommon to have vehicles stopping to drop off passengers in the intersection, causing other motorists to either brake or swerve into the oncoming lane to avoid a collision.

The Department of Transport needs to urgently assess the situation as traffic volumes increase, leading to even more congestion.

ALSO READ: Hijackings pick up again

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  AUTHOR
Larry Bentley
Journalist / Editor: Agri Eco

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