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Published:  2015-07-09 Views:  1320
Author:  Fanie
Published in:  Incident/Voorval
The Facts About The Meerhof Road Closure

9 July 2015

The inhabitants of Meerhof discovered recently that the connection road to Ifafi has been blocked. After severe deterioration - mainly due to a lack of proper storm water drainage - this road had previously been scraped to form a dirt road. What seemed a good idea at the time, actually resulted in a rainy season mud bath. 

The cause of the recent road block - according to reports - was apparently due to a resident who could not live with the dust generated by vehicles traversing the dirt road. Apart from heaps of ground blocking the road, the road has also been ripped apart with equipment, making any traffic impossible.

 

 

There has been mixed response to this act. Some people residing close to the road are relieved that the constant dust is not a problem anymore. However, it seems as if the majority of the Meerhof residents find it unacceptable. This is mainly due to the fact that the R511 main road must now be used, which causes delays during peak hours. People who need to drop children at Meerhof school are inconvenienced and there may be an increased safety risk for children travelling to other schools by bicycle from Meerhof.

The original Meerhof - Ifafi connection road was built together with the Schoemansville - Melodie and Melodie - Ifafi interconnection roads just prior to the establishment of Hartbeepoort Town Council on 1 July 1986 almost 30 years ago. This was done at request of the local area committee of the Peri-Urban authority.

According to a town planner who worked for the Hartbeespoort Council, these three connector roads were approved by government and Land Surveyor General drawings were also approved. The roads are thus deemed to be proper roads and local government property. It is not known, however, whether these roads were registered in the deeds office.

While the shorter roads between Schoemansville-Melodie and Melodie-Ifafi were recently resurfaced, the much longer Meerhof-Ifafi road is now no longer. 

The residents of Meerhof with whom I have consulted, feel strongly that a new Ifafi - Meerhof interconnecor road must be made available. At this stage there are two solutions considered, namely:

 

a) Re-establish the road on the original route

b) Construct the road along the eastern border of Jacana Bay

 

The orginal route is longer than the route in-between Jacana Bay and Izintaba.

There currently is only a 10m servitude provision for the area in-between Jacana Bay and Izintaba.  

There is a high voltage cable and electrical equipment installed in this servitude.

The 10m servitude was negotiated with Jacana Bay as a Condition of Establishment.

How far the road registration process was taken is not known, but provision is made for this road as per agreement between Madibeng and Jacana Bay. 

To establish a proper road at the correct level with proper storm water drainage on the old route may be very expensive.

On the other hand - 10m is a very restricted servitude to build a suburb inter-connector road on, although not impossible.

A normal 2-lane road would require 7.4m asphalt width. This can be reduced to a minimum of 6m if really necessary. The kerbs take up more of the valuable servitude space. A mountable kerb is 800mm wide, while a Figure 7 non-mountable kerb can be reduced to 360mm wide. We thus have a road varying between 6.8m and 9m in a 10m servitude. Take the existing high voltage cable, and there is only about 8m to work with.

A new storm water pipe may be installed under the new road and a road be constructed within this 8m, but then there is no space left for future water or sewer pipes and limited space for pedestrians on the sidewalk.

It may possible to negotiate the extension of the 10m servitude to 14 or 16 metres, which would allow a proper road servitude. The complication here is that this will influence the existing Izintaba development internal layout, which would need to be revised. 

Perhaps the solution is two fold - a short term and long term solution.

Why not construct an affordable "cheap and nasty" asphalt road on the existing route along the old design parameters - without proper storm water drainage - as short term solution? One must allocate an expected life of (say) 5 years to this cheap road. This will give adequate time for proper planning, negotiations and design of the Izintaba / Jacana Bay road. This will also allow the Council to budget for a properly designed road on the new route with full accommodation of storm water and other services.

Just a suggestion. I believe due diligence must be undertaken and all things considered to arrive at an optimal solution.

  


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