JRA urges motorists to prepare for major M1 road closures

Phase two of the revitalisation project kicks in next, resulting in road closures until July 2017.

The Johannesburg Road Agency is undertaking essential maintenance on the M1 freeway between Killarney and the Crown Interchange. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Johannesburg Roads Agency(JRA) has announced details of lane and road closures from next week as part of its M1 highway revitalisation project.

Traffic is expected to be severely affected as the project enters the second phase to upgrade the highway and bridges.

WATCH: Jhb traffic to be severely affected by M1 'rehab project'

The JRA says it's absolutely necessary to upgrade the M1 this year as 8,000 to 10,000 cars use the highway every hour.

From next week, phase two of the refurbishment project kicks in, meaning there'll be lane closures from some of the off ramps and certain lanes on the double decker bridge (near the Crown Interchange) will be closed to traffic until July next year.

The roads agency says it has mapped out several alternative routes, and traffic signal timings will be adjusted to improve mobility along these routes.

However, motorists have been urged to plan ahead, or use public transport.

Officials from the City and the JRA say the upgrades will be well worth the disruptions, in the long run.

WATCH: Major repairs scheduled for JHB M1 bridges

Meanwhile, the JRA has urged motorists to familiarise themselves with the road closures that will take place from next week.

The construction work on the Oxford and Federation bridges will be concluded in a year's time, while other work will take place on the highway, which will result in lane closures.

The agency's Mpho Kau says there will be additional congestion on the highway.

"The advice that we would like to give road users is... rather add at least 30 minutes to your travel time, from now onwards. We are also saying [they should] consider alternative routes."

JMPD READY FOR CONGESTION

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) says it will deploy officers to intersections along the M1 highway when construction intensifies next week.

The 'rehab project' is expected to cause more congestion during peak hours.

The JMPD's Wayne Minnaar says they are doing everything they can to alleviate congestion, even on days when traffic lights are out due to rain.

"Officers will be deployed when it comes to issues of rain, there are more traffic lights than there are officers but we do deploy officers every time there is congestion."