#M1Rehab: Motorists urged to explore alternative routes

Road maintenance on the M1 highway is expected to add about 30 minutes to peak travel times.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Johannesburg motorists have been urged to be patient while extensive road maintenance takes place on the M1 Highway from next week, for a year.

The construction work worth R210 million will take place on the Oxford and Federation bridges and certain lanes on the double-decker section will be closed until 2017.

Yesterday, the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) released details about the rehabilitation project.

The JRA says the second phase of this project which kicks off next Monday, is expected to add at least 30 minutes to travel time during peak periods.

The agency's Mpho Kau says this means motorists must explore alternative routes.

"We want to call on all road users in Johannesburg to familiarise themselves with the road closures and the lanes reductions. We encourage them to plan their journeys in advance and also to consider alternative routes."

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The M1 Highway joins the southern and northern areas of Johannesburg and on an average day, carries between 8,000 and 10,000 cars per hour.

Congestion and flooding are already major issues along the route.

The JRA says it's imperative that the highway is upgraded, particularly the Oxford and Federation bridges.

The Metro Police's Wayne Minaar says officers will be deployed to help alleviate congestion.

"They will be deployed on the roads that lead off from the freeway such as the Oxford Road, Jan Smuts Avenue and Joe Slovo Drive."

Motorists have been urged to start using public transport or study the alternative routes carefully and plan accordingly.