The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) has appointed SMEC South Africa for the design and construction supervision of a new greenfield bypass around the town of Butterworth in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

This bypass forms part of the upgrade of National Route 2, linking the provinces of Kwazulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape through increased mobility. The new route will address issues such as the current delay in travel time as well as safety concerns.

Project Director and Regional Manager, Free State, Roads & Highway, Roan Ackerman, says that it is not every day that one has the chance to design a greenfield project. “We have an exciting opportunity to bring in technology that is not widely used in this field in order to make SANRAL’s work much easier. Virtual/augmented reality will enable communities and relevant stakeholders to physically see the proposed infrastructure at its location.”

The contract, which entails 24 months of design and 40 months of supervision thereafter, was secured as a result of the specialist key personnel put forward for the project, as well as a strong support team. The team consists of specialists in geometric, drainage, structural, geotechnical, pavement materials and electrical engineering as well as traffic management, along with a contracts engineer and an architect.

In addition, Roan says that the successful appointment was a result of strategic pricing through multiple years of experience working with the client. “SANRAL has always been one of SMEC South Africa’s key clients. Being the custodian of the major critical mobility network in South Africa, SANRAL enabled us throughout the years to play our part in contributing to a world-class national road network.”