Mott MacDonald is assisting the Western Cape Government with planning, design and control aspects of the maintenance of gravel roads within the Overberg region – one of four regions in the province. The consultancy is also working with local provincial maintenance teams and supporting the development, improvement and management of materials supply.
There are approximately 10,000km of gravel roads within the Western Cape (excluding minor roads), of which approximately 1,300km are located within the Overberg region. These rural roads are susceptible to changes in traffic volumes, material properties, precipitation, temperature and even flooding which can lead to increased deterioration. Regular maintenance activities include regravelling or spot regravelling, reworking, hard or regular blading, patching, and pothole and shoulder repairs. Suitable material sources available such as shale, mudstone, sandstone, limestone, granite or ferricrete need to be sourced sustainably and where possible aggregate will be obtained locally through borrow pits.
Mott MacDonald has previously supported regravelling and maintenance strategies in the Western Cape Province. The consultancy is using this experience to develop strategic planning and optimisation models for the sourcing and use of suitable materials from borrow pits. The condition of gravel roads will undergo detailed visual assessments and combined with annual panel inspections will contribute to an overall view of the management of the road network.
Robbie Uys, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said: “Road maintenance in this province is quite challenging due to the limited local resources and material sources available. This is mountainous topography, which includes expensive agricultural or even heritage sites, with a highly sensitive and endangered natural vegetation or fauna. In all cases, borrow pits will be developed in agreement with landowners and in accordance with national mining and environmental regulations. This will enable the most sustainable efficient solution is found.”