Bridge stitching Cornubia into Umhlanga redresses the past and links the city’s people and places
The Cornubia Bridge, a key component of eThekwini’s GO!Durban IRPTN network which crosses the N2 linking onto Umhlanga Ridge Boulevard, is about to open to traffic and will complete primary access into Cornubia with direct access from the N2 as well as providing an additional alternative access into Umhlanga Ridge.
Planned to accommodate both the C8 and C9 GO!Durban networks from the airport and Bridge City respectively, the Cornubia Bridge fulfils a number of functions, not least of which is to open up Cornubia directly from Umhlanga – boding well for investment aspirations in Cornubia Town Centre, Cornubia Business Estate and the housing projects in Umhlanga Hills.
The bridge structure is 125m long and 50m wide. It represents a significant engineering feat and comprises three individual bridges that were “stitched together” to form a single structure carrying six mixed-use traffic lanes as well as pavements and two bus lanes, according to project engineer, Brian Downie.
The opening of the R280million flyover, which was a joint venture between Tongaat Hulett and the eThekwini Municipality, was not so much about moving traffic as it was about facilitating the creation of inclusive, compact urban precincts, linking people to opportunities and accelerating development potential, saysy Tongaat Hulett developments executive, Selemo Sefehle.
The improved accessibility to Cornubia and Umhlanga Ridge will further enhance investment in the region, he says.
“The bridge over the N2, with its dedicated bus lanes, has been a vital key in unlocking the development of the C9 route from KwaMashu to Umhlanga for the GO!Durban integrated public transport network,” says Thami Manyathi, head of the eThekwini Transport Authority.
“The eThekwini Municipality’s vision for the new transport network, which links the entire city, is driven by the need to redress the imbalances of the past and propel the economy forward. Areas that have been historically segregated are now being linked.
“This means better access to opportunities, as well as the potential for economic activities to develop around the transport nodes. The bridge is a great reminder that the improvement of public transport is not about infrastructure and roads, but about the connections and links human beings are able to make with people and places.”
Downie says the Cornubia flyover was a good example of proactive planning on behalf of Tongaat Hulett Developments and the eThekwini Municipality.
“Positive development thrives on good infrastructure. The success of Umhlanga/Cornubia began with the construction of the N2 (Durban Outer Ring Road) and has continued with constant upgrades to the roads system,” he says.
The Mount Edgecombe interchange – which opened earlier this year and was funded by Sanral, eThekwini Municipality and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport – has already impacted positively on business confidence in the area.
Konrad Kohler, a development manager at Fortress REIT, which is partnering with M&F Giuricich Developments in the development of the R1billion Cornubia Ridge Logistics Park that is adjacent to the N2 and closest to the Cornubia flyover, says the proximity to the N2 had been integral to the developers’ decision to invest in the area in the first place.
Work on the park began in February 2017. Platforms were created to allow for about 120000m² of development.