As part of the ambitious Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit Phase 1C project, construction is making headway into the heart of the city’s financial hub, Sandton.
- Spearheaded by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) on behalf of the City of Johannesburg’s Transport Department, this undertaking hopes to elevate public transportation.
- With the extension of the Rea Vaya network into Sandton, the BRT service is gearing up to welcome thousands more commuters into its fold.
- The planned construction period will bring with it traffic delays and motorists are encouraged to plan their travel route accordingly.
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Rea Vaya or ‘we are going’ has taken some time to get going in Africa’s richest square mile. Initial construction was due to begin in the second quarter of 2021, for a projected period of 10-months. Then, an 18-month construction project of the final Rea Vaya station in the Phase 1C route was scheduled to commence on 17 October 2022. The Sandton Times reported on this development at the time.
Now, the focal point of this latest expansion plan is the construction of a state-of-the-art BRT station situated between the intersection of Sandton Drive and Katherine Street to the south and Fifth Street to the north. The station’s innovative design incorporates two station modules, mirroring the successful setup of the existing Katherine Street station. The future Sandton BRT station will feature dedicated bus docking lanes and bypass lanes thoughtfully positioned in the road median on both sides of the station.
Furthermore, two outer mixed-traffic lanes will ensure the smooth flow of vehicles around the station area, promoting efficient traffic management. Pedestrian crossings to and from Sandton City will also be thoughtfully integrated into the station’s layout, prioritizing the safety and convenience of pedestrians.
However, such ambitious infrastructure developments inevitably come with temporary disruptions to existing traffic patterns. Commencing on 7 August 2023, a portion of the southbound lanes on Rivonia Road will be temporarily reduced to two lanes to facilitate road widening efforts. This phase is expected to span approximately 3 months, ensuring the seamless progression of the construction process.
Subsequently, a more comprehensive phase will follow, impacting both directions of travel on Rivonia Road. The middle lanes will be closed for a period of 7 months to accommodate the implementation of the BRT stations. While these disruptions may present challenges, they are crucial steps towards the creation of an advanced transportation network that will serve Johannesburg’s residents for years to come, according to the City.
To mitigate inconveniences and provide commuters with viable alternatives, the JDA recommends two alternate routes:
- Alternate Route 1: Motorists can opt to turn right onto Katherine Street, creating a loop that leads back onto Rivonia Road via a left turn onto West Street. This option is ideal for northbound traffic.
- Alternate Route 2: For southbound traffic, drivers can take a left turn off Rivonia Road via West Street or Fifth Street, then loop back onto Rivonia Road at the Sandton Drive intersection.
The JDA, along with its partners, acknowledges the potential inconvenience that these construction activities may cause and extends their gratitude to the public for their cooperation during this pivotal phase of the BRT infrastructure project. Upon completion, the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit Phase 1C project hopes to significantly enhance the efficiency, accessibility, and sustainability of public transportation in Johannesburg, ushering in a new era of connectivity and convenience for all its residents.
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