Picture: 123RF/WASTESOUL
Picture: 123RF/WASTESOUL

A significant portion of M2 motorway will be closed for at least eight months from Thursday February 28 to allow for bridge rehabilitation‚ City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba announced on Monday.

The motorway, which links the East Rand to the Johannesburg CBD, makes up a significant portion of one of the major routes to OR Tambo International Airport. 

It will remain completely closed between the Crown interchange and Maritzburg street until the end of October.

Mashaba told a briefing that the M2 eastbound was closed in October 2018 and that it had just been established that the westbound infrastructure had shifted‚ so now the motorway had been completely shut.

Motorists using the busy Booysens‚ Main Reef‚ Simmonds and Heidelberg routes are among those who will be affected‚ as the on-ramps will be closed.

This comes after Mashaba raised concern in 2018 over the stability of the Karzene and Selby sections of the M2 bridge‚ which posed a threat to road users. The Kaserne bridge has been closed since 2018 due to major cracks.

The Johannesburg Roads Agency previously noted concern that of the 902 bridges managed by the city‚ only 6% were in good condition.

It said the remaining 94% needed immediate intervention.

A staggering R6.5bn is needed to refurbish all the city's bridges — money the city does not have‚ according to Mashaba.

It was reported in 2018 that the city was facing an overall R170bn infrastructure backlog and that the bridges on the M2 were of particular concern.