Zuurfontein Chaos: Its now the second time in recent weeks a car has ended up in a huge hole in one of Kempton Park’s roads – and again the hole has been caused by a burst water pipe. A section of Zuurfontein Road at the Parkland Drive intersection in Esther Park had caved after a pipe burst around 4am. The road had been blocked travelling south towards Spartan, causing absolute traffic chaos. Motorists are advised to use alternative routes. On November 3 a similar incident happened on Isando Road when a bakkie drove into a huge hole which just looked like a huge puddle in the road. Potholes have become a serious point of discussion over recent years, especially in relation to the increased traffic on highways and suburban roads. According to CSIR (The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), the main cause behind the pothole situation lies in a lack of adequate improvement in the preventative maintenance on a number of roads. There are several roads which are currently being rehabilitated to address the hazardous level that South African motorists are facing.
The roads in Gauteng have been under serious scrutiny. In recent media reports, it was identified that, in a space of six years, the amount of roads considered to be in a poor to very poor condition had increased from 20-46%. This deterioration has led the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) to roll out a ‘road rehabilitation campaign’ which aims to address and repair 12 703 potholes and 37 545 patchings and clearings. From a broader spectrum of thinking and surveying the damage to roads, Sanral has released a road condition report which classifies road conditions across the country as good, fair or poor. From all the listed roads, approximately 11 of the 15 national roads in the country are currently being rehabilitated due to poor conditions.
How are potholes created?
Research gathered from the CSIR pothole guide stipulates that the most common cause of potholes is the presence of water. However, the report also mentions that there are a number of cumulative aspects that contribute towards the formation of these craters on the roads. Above and beyond the structural reasons, which involve the quality of the materials used, there are a number of other reasons (including the environment as well as traffic loading), which increase the likelihood of pothole formation.