Before visiting dr Graham Ross at his Somerset West home, l had done quite a bit of preparation and background reading - but what l had not expected, was that he would be far better prepared than his interviewer. As we sat down to talk, he handed me a neat set of copies of exactly the right kind of background documents for this article. His warm, friendly and well-prepared welcome set the scene to discover that thorough research and preparation was characteristic of the man and the engineer, and that his passion for his work as engineer is enhanced by his well-documented understanding of the historical and wider economic context of the work.
Very visible, and extensive in its scope and scale, the GFIP is an exciting project that, once completed, should immediately and positively affect the lives of most people living and working in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Whereas other huge, award-winning projects often benefit only a few thousand people on a regular basis, the GFIP promises to contribute substantially to easing the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of motorists and passengers who currently spend many precious hours stuck in traffic. The official launch of the first phase of the GFIP happened on 24 June 2008 during a sod-turning ceremony at the Gilloolys interchange, one of Gauteng's busiest interchanges.
The principal project objective is to upgrade the quality and performance level of the public transport system. BRT refers to a high-quality, bus-based transit system that delivers fast, comfortable and cost-effective urban mobility through the provision of segregated right-of-way infrastructure, rapid and frequent operations, and excellence in marketing and customer service.
One of the negative effects of load shedding has been the congestion caused at intersections with traffic signal control. One of the many debates following the actions by Eskom is how traffic signals can be provided with power to allow them to continue running during times of load shedding. Solar-powered traffic signals have been proposed as one of the solutions and some municipalities have already proceeded with installing pilot sites.
The Western Freeway is the 'gateway' for traffic entering the city of Durban from the N2 north and south, as well as the N3 from the west. The client, Ethekwini Municipality Roads Provision, is well aware of the strategic importance of the Western Freeway, which is the busiest road in KwaZulu-Natal, carrying more than 120 000 vehicles daily. The Western freeway was constructed in the early 1970s and had reached a stage when the road pavement was in dire need of heavy rehabilitation. Peak hour congestion had reached saturation levels and the service levels were very poor. Safety features and pedestrian facilities also required much attention.
The rehabilitation of gravel roads in the Randfontein rural area, where exposed rock on stretches of the road were damaging vehicles, entailed treating the gravel with several agents to investigate the optimum mix of materials. Dramatic blading and covering of the exposed rock by imported material offered substantial relief to the local municipality, thereby enabling the municipality to focus on other areas that needed maintenance as well.
The Chairman's Award went to Dr John Sampson for his outstanding service to the transportation engineering profession over the last 36 years. John is currently Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Road Traffic Management Corporation, Provincial Roads Expert for Gauteng Transport Management Authority, Managing Director of Transportation and Traffic Technology Africa, and a Director of Jeffares and Green.
Traffic and transportation engineering is the newest branch of civil engineering and it has taken some time to be truly accepted as a legitimate contributor to the civil engineering profession. The first traffic engineer in South Africa was Saville Dorfman, the Chief Traffic Officer of Johannesburg, who studied at Ohio State University, USA, in the 1960s.
Road bridges are things which are useful when one has to take a road over a river, or a railway line, or another road, or where circumstances make it more economical than building a fill. Although I did spend time in the Cape Provincial Roads bridge design office, this aspect of civil engineering never excited me.
This programme is a multiple-staged advancement programme which facilitates the growth and development of small businesses. Each stage of advancement is characterised by higher levels of risk to the contractor and the removal of support mechanisms by the Department.
TOSAS (Pty) Ltd, a Sasol-affiliated company, is recognised as one of the largest and most trusted local manufacturers, suppliers and appliers of a wide range of superior quality products for African roads, and has been for close to four decades.
Pennyville is proof that it is possible for private companies and government to work together in unconventional agreements to effectively reduce the backlog in low-cost housing and to create a low-cost development of high quality.
The construction of The Houghton, a development comprising two luxury residential apartment blocks (Houghton 1 and Houghton 2) and a 180-room boutique hotel development (Houghton 3), involves South Africa's largest deployment of precast hollow-core concrete panels as retaining walls to date.
As I work with clients seeking to achieve maximum value from their investment in business information systems, I regularly encounter situations where specialists working in the field of information technology (IT) are sincerely engaged in doing things that are actually damaging and obstructing the business.