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Friday / 14 June 2024
HomeNews“Sky circle” coming to Cape Town – Everything you need to know

“Sky circle” coming to Cape Town – Everything you need to know

The City of Cape Town will soon commence construction of a “freestanding elevated traffic circle” which it said is the first of its kind in South Africa.

The sky circle is being built at the intersection of Govan Mbeki Road (M9) and Jan Smuts Drive (M17) in Hanover Park as part of the roll-out of the MyCiTi service to the metro-south east, and it will take roughly 44 months to complete.

“The investment will benefit the surrounding communities of Hanover Park, Philippi, Lansdowne/Wetton, and Yorkshire Estate and will transform the surrounding landscape profoundly,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Councillor Rob Quintas.

What is a sky circle?

The elevated traffic circle, or “sky circle”, can be described as “a hollow circle in the sky, letting in light to the intersection below,” said Quintas.

A visual impact assessment formed part of the approval process of the fixture, and concluded that the open circle provides sufficient light to reach ground level.

Once completed, the elevated road will sit 6.2m above the ground and will be used exclusively by MyCiTi buses.

Additionally, the intersection at ground level that will still be used by normal traffic is being redesigned to improve traffic flow through the use of dedicated turning lanes, improved traffic signals, and improved signalisation and sequencing.

Existing sewage and water infrastructure will also be upgraded.

“Pedestrians and cyclists will benefit from dedicated lanes for walking and cycling along Govan Mbeki Drive and at the intersection, and streetlights will be installed to improve visibility and safety at night,” said Quintas.

“By separating the MyCiTi buses from general traffic, the City will ensure the service operates optimally between Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha and Wynberg and Claremont without being delayed by the traffic or congestion at the ground level of the intersection,” said Quintas.

Traffic benefits

According to Quintas, the benefits of the new sky circle are numerous and include:

  • Traveling times for MyCiTi commuters become shorter
  • MyCiTi commuters get a reliable service that runs on time
  • Ease congestion on the intersection below for standard road users
  • Dedicated lanes for pedestrians and cyclists, separated from the road

On top of this, the initiative will see R15 million spent on temporary work opportunities for “residents who are registered on the local jobseekers database,” as well as R15 million spent on local subcontractors.

“The project will commence on 7 July 2022, if all goes as planned, but residents will see major construction activity on site only about three months later as it takes time to set up the work area,” said Quintas.

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