Rea Vaya Phase 1C construction on track

Rea Vaya Phase 1C construction on trackRoad widening work along Katherine Street in Sandton.

Rea Vaya's Phase 1C expansion is well on its way to opening up new Corridors of Freedom between central Joburg, Sandton and Alexandra.

Sandton, Joburg's financial hubSandton, Joburg's financial hub, will soon be an easier suburb to navigate for both pedestrians and commuters.Rea Vaya's Phase 1C expansion linking central Joburg, Sandton and Alexandra is on track, with a network of new bus rapid transit (BRT) lanes, pavement structures and pedestrian-cycling walkways at various stages of construction in the north-east quadrant of Johannesburg.

The estimated R3-billion expansion, which will include about 15 kilometres of dedicated BRT lanes and an iconic pedestrian and cycling bridge across Africa's busiest highway, started in March this year and is expected to be complete by December 2016.

The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) is implementing the project for the City of Joburg as part of its Corridors of Freedom programme, which uses transport-oriented development as a catalyst for overturning the City's legacy of apartheid-era town planning.

Louis Botha Avenue: Parktown to Wynberg

According to Vuyiswa Tlomatsane, senior development manager at the JDA, construction of the Rea Vaya bus lanes along Section 15 of Phase 1C will be completed this month.

This section starts at the corner of Empire and Victoria avenues in Parktown, turns left at Empire and Clarendon roads bordering Hillbrow, and proceeds north along Louis Botha Avenue until the intersection of Lees Street and Pretoria Main Road in Wynberg.

Beginning this month through to October next year, the road pavement structure of the outside lanes - either side of the BRT lanes - of Section 15 will be rehabilitated, followed by the construction of infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.

Katherine Street: West St to Sandspruit River

In Sandton, meanwhile, construction of the BRT and pedestrian-cycling lanes along Katherine Street, from the West Street intersection through to Sandspruit Bridge, is expected to be complete by the end of March 2015.

"This section is now 25 percent complete, and WBHO Construction, the main contractor, is currently busy with the relocation of existing services, clearing of trees and vegetation, and installation of new lights, kerbs and sidewalks," Tlomatsane reported.

Walkway to connect Sandton, Alexandra

Also due to be complete by the end of March 2015 is the walkway from Roosevelt Street in Alexandra and Rautenbach Avenue in Wynberg to Grayston Drive - a project that exemplifies both the "complete street" approach to the City's BRT expansion and its drive to promote non-motorised transport.

The walkway will link No 3 Square in Alexandra to Katherine Street in Sandton, and include a pedestrian and cycling bridge across the M1 highway. Tlomatsane said the design for the bridge has been finished and contract awarded to a construction company.

Complementing this, pavements in Alexandra are in the process of being upgraded for walking and cycling. The project is being handled by Bophelong Construction along with six small businesses.