On February 28, the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) will be closing the M2 highway between the Crown Interchange and Maritzburg Street, Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba announced at the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) head office in Johannesburg on Monday.
The mayor had previously raised concerns regarding the stability of the Karzene and Selby sections of the M2 bridge, which "posed a danger" to road users as a result of much-needed maintenance and repairs.
Mashaba said the closure was "necessitated by the continuous monitoring and the bridge visual conditions assessment which indicated that the structural integrity of the concrete elements is severely reduced".
"The JRA realised that parts of the support structure have moved and [are] affecting the structural stability of some bridges on the M2 motorway.
"The safety of the Selby bridge cannot be guaranteed for continuous use by motorists and thus the decision for a closure of the M2 between Crown Interchange and Maritzburg Street is necessary.
"The safety of motorists and road users is of utmost importance and concern to the JRA, hence the urgent decision for the closure," JRA managing director Goodwill Mbatha said.
Repair and rehabilitation work was underway at the Selby and Karsene bridges and the planned completion date was the end of October 2019.
This would include the full closure of the M2 between the Crown Interchange and Maritzburg Street.
The JRA advised motorists to take alternative routes. Westbound traffic travelling towards Roodepoort from the east should stay on the N3 and make use of the N12 to access areas to the west and south of the city.
"Motorists are advised to make alternative travel plans. Eastbound traffic travelling towards Germiston from the west, [should] keep travelling on the N1, make use of the N12 and N3 to access areas to the east of the City."
"A traffic accommodation plan is in place for residents to use alternative routes," Mashaba said.
"The rehabilitation work should conclude in October.
"As you know, 78% of our bridge infrastructure is in poor condition due to poor maintenance.
"I have a substantive duty to act in the best interest of residents. The current maintenance backlog and poor condition of the City's bridges requires over R6bn in expenditure," Mashaba said.