Creating a safe road
Whereas a route’s convenience, comfort or roadside attractions are quite obvious to the motorist, its safety features are usually more obscure. But the fact is, every metre of the N4 has been designed and constructed to provide a road that complies with the design and safety requirements of the South African Roads Agency.
For example, TRAC’s engineers have provided milled rumble strips in the centre line at various sections of the road to warn drivers against crossing into oncoming lanes. Different types of road surfaces have been applied in certain areas to improve vehicles’ skid resistance in wet weather conditions, and special fluorescent and colouring materials have been used on signage such as curve markers and in the borders of chevrons to ensure they are visible.
To prevent rock falls in places such as Waterval Boven where the rock is quite fragmented, diamond wire mesh has been used to cover the sides of the cuttings and have proven to be extremely effective. You will also notice several places where ultra-strong wire ropes have been placed instead of guardrails for improved safety.
TRAC utilises a cutting-edge traffic information development system,to identify high-accident locations along the route and employ construction interventions and other safety measures to mitigate the dangers to motorists and pedestrians.
TRAC has, and will continue to introducetraffic calming measures in these places. These include prominently placed and oversized road signs, top-quality road studs (cat’s eyes) that reflect lanes and borders clearly, and rumble strips everywhere there is high pedestrian activity. In addition, interchanges such as those at Belfast and Malalane were newly constructed to improve traffic flow, making it safer for motorists to join or exit the N4 .