Freight transport in South Africa is dominated by two modes, namely road transport and rail transport. The current dominance of road is not only linked to high value commodities, perishables or short transport distances, but has recently been extended to include freight transport of bulk low value goods such as coal and iron ore, previously the domain of rail transport. The condition of the rural road network is deteriorating rapidly as traffic volumes and axle loads increase on an aging network.
The paper firstly briefly reviews the progress with respect to the Gauteng to Durban Freight Study. The aim of the paper is to provide an assessment of the maintenance costs associated with the current road infrastructure along the Gauteng to Durban Freight Corridor for the next two decades.
The paper provides a comprehensive quantification of maintenance cost requirements of the road freight corridor extending from Gauteng to Durban. The analysis takes into consideration both routine maintenance and periodic maintenance, reconstruction upgrading requirements associated with the current freight conditions and the prospective maximum freight utilisation along the route based on current trends in traffic loading measured over the past 5 years.
The analysis will compare the comparative costs of various forms of maintenance and rehabilitation, reconstruction and upgrading tasks proposed for the road corridor. It will provides insight into the maintenance requirements of the current infrastructure, the success of the current maintenance investment in preserving the assets and the expected result of increased freight transport and loading on the maintenance requirements under full capacity freight loading conditions.