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Construction on the busy M1 highway in Johannesburg has been delayed by a number of months‚ meaning peak hour congestion will not let up.

If you travel on the M1 through the city centre on the Double Decker bridge or through the Killarney area past the Oxford and Federation road bridges‚ the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has given a breakdown of how you may be affected.

According to JRA traffic engineer Esther Schmidt‚ the rehabilitation project on the Oxford and Federation Road bridges will see the highway’s three lanes reduced to two in coming months.

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This will be the case until phase three of the project is concluded in September 2017. The construction is currently in its second phase. Both these phases require one closed lane for work to be completed. On weekends or at night‚ two lanes may be closed.

M1 highway in JohannesburgFor those driving along this route in peak hour‚ the closure of one lane should see you travelling at speeds of at least 15km/h slower than usual.

With the original three lanes per direction open on the M1 Oxford Road bridge‚ about 4000 to 5000 cars are able to travel in each direction at speeds of 25 to 35km/h during peak hour.

With only two lanes open this is reduced to 2000 cars travelling in each direction at speeds of 10 to 15km/h.

Construction on the Double Decker bridge over the city centre‚ expected to be completed at the end of 2017‚ will see one lane closed outside peak periods on weekdays between 9.30am and 2.30pm. Further lanes may be closed on weekends and at night.

For a period of 20 days‚ starting on January 22‚ one lane on both carriageways will remain closed for the entire period for repair work on the deck beam corbels.

Schmidt said this closure was scheduled so it wouldn’t clash with the opening of schools in January‚ so that parents can get their first-time learners to school on time.

She thanked Johannesburg residents for their patience and urged them to use alternative routes and public transport where possible.

“Children have missed school‚ people have missed interviews … we do apologise for that. We have experienced an extremely patient public‚” Schmidt said.

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