South Africa News

Sanral warns of sinkhole on R21 near Olifantsfontein

Motorists using the R21 near Olifantsfontein will need to find an alternate route to travel due to a new sinkhole that has formed.

South African National Roads Agency engineering executive, Louw Kannemeyer said two sinkholes formed on Monday afternoon just before 4pm along the R21 northbound carriageway towards Pretoria, just after the Olifantsfontein interchange.

“One sinkhole developed just outside our road reserve fence boundary, and the second one immediately adjacent to the edge of the R21, penetrating about two metres underneath the road up to the slow lane and five to six metres deep currently,” Kannemeyer said.

He said cracks also formed in the road surface in the outer two slow lanes, which called for the immediate closure of the outer two lanes of the road.

“Preliminary assessments have been performed by Sanral engineers, and we are currently in process with the emergency appointment of the required geo-technical engineering specialists to assist with the specialist investigations required,” Kannemeyer added.

He said during this time Sanral will be installing New Jersey concrete barriers to ensure public safety – like those applied at the N1 sinkhole – while awaiting the outcome of the investigations.

Kannemeyer said the lane closures will remain in place until the specialist investigations and remedial measures have been implemented,

How long that would take depended on the extent of the sinkhole, which at this stage remains to be quantified, he said.

“The R21 northbound will be reduced to two lanes in the direction of Pretoria just after the Olifantsfontein interchange for the foreseeable future, resulting in associated congestion during peak hour periods.

“Road users are advised to take this into account in their daily planning and consider alternative routes such as M18 and M57 which run parallel to the west of the R21 in the vicinity of the affected area,” he said.

Last week, Pretoria News reported that experts were on site to investigate the size of the sinkhole along the N1 south in Centurion, near the so-called Flying Saucer Interchange.

-IOL

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