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Authorities have assured cyclists eager to enter the aQuellé Tour Durban on 29 April that the repairs to the flood-damaged M4 Ruth First Highway will be completed in time for the popular road race that has a loop from Moses Mabhida Stadium toi Mdhloti and back as a central feature of the three races staged on the day.
The M4 was badly damaged by flooding between Sibaya and Mhlanga in November, and the repair has been hampered by further flooding in December.
However local councillors have been given a clear assurance from the Durban Metro Police and the Department of Transport that the repairs to the M4 will be ready for the race on the Freedom Day long weekend at the end of April.
DA councillor Nicole Bollman, who represents Ward 35 that covers the affected section of road, said after a meeting of all the parties involved with the repair of the damage to M4 that the road surface will be ready for the aQuellé Tour Durban.
“Everyone has committed to having the repairs ready for the race,” said Bollman.
“We cannot predict what the weather is going to do in the coming months, and if we have another flood that will obviously hamper the repair work.
“However the repairs are progressing well, and all the parties concerned have committed to having the structural repairs completed and a surface on that section of the M4 that is ready for the race,” she added.
The Department of Transport met on Wednesday and along with the contractors selected to complete the repair, Bollman is confident that the repairs will be completed by race day.
“All the diagrams are done and the work starts now,” she commented. “I am confident that the contractors will do a good job in giving the riders a stable, flat surface to ride on.”
Entries for the race, which attracts around 5000 riders over the 115km classic distance, and the 90km and 45km races that are based on the popular out-and-back loop on the M4 have started to stream into the race office, but concern over the readiness of the M4 has been a central concern.
“We are very grateful to all the parties involved for their commitment to the timeline for the repair of the M4,” said race director Alec Lenferna.
“The M4 is a key attraction of the aQuellé Tour Durban, with the road closure on an excellent road surface that runs alongside the North Coast seaboard, making it a unique and appealing event for cyclists from around the country,” he said.
“However, the M4 is an important artery for the residents and businesses in that area, and the completion of the repair of the M4 will be of huge significance, so the commitment of the parties involved in the repair is most welcome,” he added.