Taralyn Bro The Weekend Post
THE N2 Wild Coast Toll Road has moved one step closer to becoming a reality after the government this week gave its construction a tentative thumbs-up.
The issuing on Monday of a record of decision by the Department of Environmental Affairs authorising construction of the road is the latest in a long line of action – or inaction – around the mega-billion-rand project. Objectors now have less than a month to say why they believe construction should not go ahead. The authorisation has been granted as long as environmental concerns raised in the final environmental impact assessment report – released in December – are heeded.
More than 7800 submissions from the public were included in the report, which was started afresh in 2007 by CCA Environmental (Pty) Ltd after the original EIA was shelved in 2004.
If approved, the project will extend over roughly 560km between the N2 Gonubie interchange and the N2 Isipingo interchange (south of Durban).
Twenty-five new tolls will be built, mostly in KwaZulu-Natal.
The new route will be about 75km shorter than the existing N2 via Kokstad. Building cost was estimated at R6.4-billion in 2007.