Satellite view of the the N1 Musina bypass works.
(Satellite view via Google Maps)
  • If nothing else goes wrong, the new N1 bypass around Musina will now open in June 2022, says the SA National Roads Agency.
  • That will be just a little short of four years after the initial completion date.
  • Effectively all traffic that goes through the most important border post with Zimbabwe, Beitbridge, currently has to pass right through the Musina central business district.
  • The 8km section of new road comes at a R640 million cost.
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It is now confident of a June 2022 completion date for a new section of the N1, bypassing the town of Musina, the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) said in a statement on Sunday, "provided there are no further delays".

The new 8km section of the key national highway has been under construction since March 2016 – and had originally been due to open in September 2018, then during 2019.

But this time things are on track, says Sanral, with stormwater work done, all but one interchange bridge "at advanced stages of completion", and progress being made on layer works and surfacing.

Bridge over railway
One of the five bridges that form part of the bypass road. (Sanral)

Effectively all traffic that passes through the Beitbridge border post – the most important crossing between South Africa and Zimbabwe – currently has to go right though the central business district of Musina. Allowing that traffic to divert around the town via the Musina ring road will significantly speed up travel, says Sanral, and reduce "conflict with local traffic and pedestrians".

The new section of freeway goes around the west of Musina, splitting off from the existing N1 just south of the town, and reconnecting with the existing road just to its north. It comes at a project cost of R640 million.

The road is one of the major projects that were left partially completed when some of the giants in South Africa's construction sector, Group Five and Basil Read, went bust.

It was, at various points, due for completion in April 2019, and in October 2021.

You can see Sanral's 2017 promotional video on the road here:

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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