Trans African Concessions executes road construction projects in South Africa
Trans African Concessions (TRAC) is upgrading and constructing a number of major roads in South Africa related to the N4 highway.
TRAC is a provider of highway operating services in South Africa, focusing on design, construction, finance, operating and maintenance of toll roads. The company is the operator of the route on the N4 toll road which runs from Witbank in South Africa to Maputo in Mozambique, under a public-private partnership with the governments of South Africa and Mozambique.
TRAC started managing the N4 toll road in 1997, when it signed a 30-year concession contract with the South African and Mozambican national roads agencies – the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) and Mozambique's National Roads Administration (ANE).
TRAC is currently undertaking a number of major road construction projects in South Africa related to the N4 toll road, which include:
- Montrose Interchange
- Emalahleni - Middelburg Road
- Wonderfontein - Belfast Rehabilitation
- Belfast - Machado Rehabilitation and Upgrade
- Karino Interchange
The Melrose Interchange project involves upgrading the existing at-grade intersection to a grade-separated free-flow interchange. The project commenced at the beginning of this year (2022), and is expected to be completed by June 2023.
The scope of construction works on the Melrose Interchange project includes:
- Blasting activities to realign 600 metres of the existing Schoemanskloof carriageway, on the R539 road between Machadodorp and Nelspruit in South Africa's Mpumalanga province.
- Construction of four new interchange ramps;
- Widening of the existing two-lane crocodile bridge from two to five lanes.
- Construction of two new arch bridges to cross the existing Elands Valley section and to accommodate two new ramps.
- Installation of new high-mast lighting to light up the new interchange.
The Montrose Interchange is a vital roadway in Africa that needed a redesign. When SMEC learned rough terrain made it impossible to explore on foot, they deployed #drones to capture site images & built a #realitymesh using #ContextCapture: https://t.co/qwc2mwxdgb pic.twitter.com/FwO8bxs8zp— Bentley Systems, Inc (@BentleySystems) August 27, 2019
The Melrose Interchange project is estimated to cost R248 million (US$15.3 million).
According to TRAC, on completion the Montrose Interchange will create a free-flow, split-level interchange that will greatly improve traffic flow.
Wonderfontein - Belfast Road Rehabilitation
The Wonderfontein to Belfast roadworks involves the rehabilitation and upgrading of the existing N4 Section 5 (Maputo Development Corridor (MDC) - Section 5A) from Wonderfontein at kilometre 10.8 to Belfast at kilometre 29.40 in Mpumalanga Province, a distance of 18.6 kilometres.
The Wonderfontein to Belfast road rehabilitation works is being undertaken by Actophambili Roads. The project commenced was scheduled to commence last month (January 2022) and is expected to be completed by December 2023.
The Wonderfontein to Belfast road rehabilitation project is estimated to cost R244 million (US$15.1 million).
Commencement of the rehabilitation of the Wonderfontein to Belfast road section follows completion of the road upgrade between Kaapmuiden and Kaalruge in the Nkomazi region. The 15.5 kilometres road section of the Maputo Corridor between Kaapmuiden and Kaalruge now has a four-lane carriageway and a rehabilitated road surface.
Emalahleni – Middelburg Road Rehabilitation and Upgrade
The Emalahleni – Middelburg road rehabilitation and upgrade project involves the rehabilitation of a 19-kilometre section of the N4 toll route between the OR Tambo and Van Dyksdrift interchanges in the Highveld region.
The scope of works includes the removal and replacement of failed concrete slabs from the originally constructed concrete surfaced road. The entire 19-kilometre road section will be overlayed with asphalt and an additional seven kilometres of passing lanes will also be constructed.
The Emalahleni – Middelburg road rehabilitation and upgrade project is estimated to cost R380 million (US$23.5 million).
The Emalahleni – Middelburg road rehabilitation and upgrade is being undertaken by Raubex Construction. The project was reported to be 85% complete in February (2022).
Belfast-Machado Road Rehabilitation and Upgrade
The Belfast-Machado road rehabilitation and upgrade project involves the rehabilitation of a 30-kilometre section of the N4 toll route between Belfast and Machado which will also be upgraded to a four-lane carriageway.
The scope of works on this project includes the rehabilitation of the entire 30-kilometre road carriageway, and construction of an additional lane per direction that will upgrade the 30-kilometre Belfast and Machado road section to a four-lane road. The project also includes the construction of a new interchange at Machadodorp which was opened in September 2021.
Speaking during an inspection visit to the site of the Belfast-Machado road upgrade, South Africa's Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, said "The upgrade from a two-lane road to a four-lane road will benefit road users in this region in terms of ease of travel, convenience, and road safety."
"The improved vertical alignment, consolidation of farm accesses and additional capacity as part of the widening, not only makes the N4 safer, but also improves mobility, resulting in reduced travel times and travel costs. The construction of the Machadodorp interchange is also aimed at improved road safety, but still provides convenient access to the town. Local communities also directly benefitted from the job creation during construction" added Transport Minister Fikile Mbalulathe.
Tomorrow, in partnership with the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) and Trans African Concessions (TRAC) I will participate in a ministerial visit to monitor and inspect progress on major infrastructure project upgrades along the N4 network in the Mpumalanga Province. https://t.co/QHtuL4RapS pic.twitter.com/2ioIrRcMHl— FIKILE MBALULA | MR FIX (@MbalulaFikile) April 21, 2021
The Belfast-Machado road rehabilitation and upgrade project is estimated to cost R400 million (US$24.6 million).
The Belfast-Machado road rehabilitation and upgrade is being undertaken by WBHO. The project was reported to be 90% complete in February (2022).
New Karino Interchange
The Karino Intersection is located east of Mbombela, between Mbombela and Kanyamazane in Mpumpalanga province, and links the R514 route to the N4 national highway. The existing Karino Intersection is a T-junction which links the road from White River to the N4 highway.
The New Karino Interchange project involves upgrading the existing Karino intersection into a grade-separated interchange, with on and off-ramps and a bridge that will separate cross-traffic from through-traffic. On completion, the new interchange is expected to provide a safer way for traffic to be regulated at the R514 / N4 junction and for traffic to access the N4 highway from the R514 route.
The Karino interchange is a project based in Mpumalanga. The current junction will be improved to a grade-separated interchange. The new interchange will include on and off ramps as well as a new bridge, which will improve and ease traffic flow at this busy intersection. pic.twitter.com/R9R95zLDKn— SANRAL (@SANRAL_za) August 21, 2020
Construction of the New Karino Interchange commenced in June 2019, and was reported to be 88% complete in February (2022). The construction works is being undertaken by Raubex Construction.
The New Karino Interchange project is estimated to cost R390 million (US$24 million).
Top Photo: Road construction improvements for traffic volume increases (Chris Van Lennep | Dreamstime)