In another first for the city, construction on the city’s new Sky Circle Project got underway in Cape Town yesterday.
Yesterday, the City of Cape Town’s Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Councillor Rob Quintas, helped dig the first trenches of the Sky Circle Project in Lansdowne as the City concluded its site visits on the last day of Transport Month.
The project entails a freestanding elevated traffic circle at the intersection of Jan Smuts Drive and Govan Mbeki Road, the first of its kind in South Africa, as part of the roll-out of the MyCiTi service to the metro-south east.
Once constructed, the elevated circle at this busy intersection will separate the MyCiTi buses from the general traffic on ground level.
The sky circle will be about 6,2m above the ground, and for the exclusive use of the MyCiTi buses.
The sky circle forms part of a construction works package that also includes improvements to the section of Govan Mbeki Road from Jan Smuts Drive (M17) to Heinz Road which is approximately 2,3km in length.
“This innovative new sky circle is part of the roll-out of the second phase of the MyCiTi network linking Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha and Claremont and Wynberg,” said Hill-Lewis. “Every resident of our city should have access to world-class public transport.” “This is not the preserve of wealthy areas, but for all areas, and residents.”
“Dedicated infrastructure like this, that is smart and cutting-edge, also helps build community pride. One of the key pledges of this administration is to make public transport work by expanding the MyCiTi bus service to link poorer residents with work opportunities. We are steadily working towards that goal and I’m pleased to mark the commencement of this project.”
A number of future MyCiTi routes that form part of the metro-south east corridor will meet at this intersection, which required the City to consider the impact of the additional bus traffic on the current general traffic, and the impact of the latter on the buses running on schedule.
The chosen design will mean that MyCiTi commuters will also experience a positive impact by reducing the travelling time to their destinations.
“The Sky Circle Project is an inspirational undertaking, not only in the extent of the work and the commuting benefits it will bring to commuters, but also in the investment in the surrounding communities in the form of temporary job and training opportunities and sub-contracts to local businesses. We are on track to deliver on our commitment to widen the choice of public transport offerings to residents from the metro-south east,” said Quintas.
Apart from the sky circle, the City is also upgrading the intersection on ground level to improve traffic flow. The improvements entail the reconfiguration of the intersection, dedicated turning lanes, improved traffic signals and signals.
Pedestrians and cyclists will also benefit, as dedicated lanes for walking and cycling along Govan Mbeki Drive and at the intersection form part of this project.
However, the project will cause traffic disruptions and lane closures will be in place until 30 April 2024.
A MyCiTi station will be built at a later stage on a center median, as each stage of the project progresses, and will serve commuters along the trunk route that will operate along Govan Mbeki Road. Work on the overall metro-south east corridor will continue over the next seven years, if all goes as planned.