Opening of Booth Road West
The road forms the first phase of a transportation corridor that will run from the N3 freeway near the Pavilion, through Cato Manor, under the N2 near Chesterville, into Bellair and Francois Roads and ultimately to the Gale/Umbilo/Sydney corridor and the harbour. This effectively means that residents travelling towards Durban on the N3 will be able to exit at Spine Road (Pavilion) and use the new Booth Road to link up with Bellair and Francois Roads taking them into Glenwood, Umbilo and other parts of southern Durban.
A series of industrial, commercial and high density residential developments will be constructed along the road as well as a number of high order social facilities.
The road also provides improved pedestrian and vehicular access along Booth Road which will become the back bone of Cato Manorís transportation network and a corridor of economic activity, lending economic opportunities to the residents of Cato Manor.
The design incorporates vehicle operating speeds of 60 km per hour as well as the provision of stops for buses and taxis. In view of the relatively high expected traffic volumes coupled with the proximity to dense residential development special attention has been paid to pedestrian safety by the provision of wide verges, paved sidewalks and street lighting.
A number of housing developments to the north and south of the new road have already been completed or are presently under construction. These include Phases 2 and 3 of Chesterville Extension (422 sites) and Phases 1 and 2 of Chesterville Incremental Housing (380 sites). In addition the informal settlement of Jamaica which is situated below the Pavilion Shopping Centre will be upgraded with 600 housing units being built.
To date a total of 3 233 serviced sites and houses have either been completed or are under construction within the Cato Manor Project area. Completed houses that have been haded over to their new owners total some 1 888.
The contract for the construction of the road totalling R26,5 million was awarded to Group Five Roads with the City Roads Department acting as project managers and the CMDA as overall programme managers. This first phase of the road is funded by the RDP as part of the R130 million grant made available to the Cato Manor Project for the redevelopment of the area. Phase two of the road from the N2 to Bellair Road will be funded by the European Union (R9 million) and Phase three from Bellair Road to the re-aligned Francois Road by the South Central Local Council (R8.7million). Phases two and three of the road are expected to begin construction in July 1999 and be completed by July 2 000.
The road which presently consists of two kilometres of two lanes and three bridges which span the Westville River can be extended in the future to four lanes to accommodate further traffic flow. The road has been designed to cater for a bus-based mass transport system that will accommodate the needs of future residents of Cato Manor. An intersection at Booth Road and the N2 is being vigorously pursued with preliminary design work to test its feasibility presently underway.
The contract took 13 months to complete with a total of 240 people employed. Local labour from the neighbouring communities of Jamaica and Chesterville totalled 140 unskilled and 10 skilled workers. Six emerging contractors were used and seventy local employees received certificates for completing the Civil Engineering Industry Training Board Construction Skills Programme. A number of informal dwellings had been located on the site of the road but with the help of the CMDA community liaison staff relocations of these residents were amicably resolved.
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