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Wednesday Jun 06, 2012

Cresta centre development to cause major traffic delays

Motorists in Joburg's north-western suburbs should prepare themselves for major traffic delays from August because of a R160 million alteration to the Cresta shopping centre and roads around it.

Roadworks are expected to last at least 18 months while the centre links its east and west ends by lowering the level of Weltevreden Road. This is being done to improve trading in these two ends, which are currently dead.

Councillor Laurette van Zijl said she was concerned that Acacia Road, with two lanes, will not be able to carry the diverted traffic. She said there were between 1 400 and 500 vehicles an hour in morning and afternoon peak times.

MIn addition Acacia Road carries, at peak, about 600 vehicles an hour. This includes about 100 delivery trucks, 380 taxis and 44 buses a day.

"No figures have been given for off-peak traffic. It is suggested that developers find out whether any taxis and/or buses are licensed to use Weltevreden and to put up signs to prohibit them if they do not have such licences. It is also questioned whether Acacia can carry that volume of traffic without any major disruptions to traffic flow," she said.

The work will be conducted in three phases lasting about 18 months. The work is being done in consultation with the Johannesburg Roads Agency and a public consultation process has taken place.

Van Zijl said the developers were co-operating with her and had held several public participation meetings. They had agreed to place a pointsman at Acacia and Beyers Naudé during peak hour and that the situation would be monitored daily.

The developers have also agreed to place a pedestrian crossing outside the Maxhaven Retirement Village in Acacia Road in the form of a raised pedestrian crossing, a dedicated pedestrian robot or a combination of the two.

There are other concerns about the back-up of traffic on some of the supplementary roads, she said. Among these concerns are: A need for improved road design slipways at the intersection of Acacia and Republic roads.

The trees growing in Acacia to be removed and replanted. Van Zijl said this was a contentious issue as the trees would not survive relocation, mainly due to their age.

There is a request to improve Lee Road and Danie Street as traffic will most probably divert automatically onto these roads en route to Beyers Naudé during peak hours.

Cheyne and Mountain View roads will most probably also become an alternative route during construction. Request to at least repaint all the road markings; and Risidale Primary should be notified of the proposed alteration plans.

Cresta marketing manager Philly Mtshali said the Cresta Bridge Link development would a number of improvements to surrounding roads and an additional 8 000m of retail space added to the lower level.

"The project management team has engaged with the local councillors as part of a consultative process with the broader community and other stakeholders since May to inform them of the planned project and to get their buy-in about the planned improvements," she said.

The Star

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