The City of Johannesburg will start to introduce a new material for road markings which will, according to Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba, be more durable.
The Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA) has started upgrading road markings within Region B this transport month and were exposed to a demonstration on new or alternative road marking materials by the private sector on 17 October.
“Most of the road markings used on our roads in the past were solvent-based paint which was applied using high-pressure spray paint systems. These markings are particularly thin and not durable,” Mashaba said.
Due to the ever-increasing traffic volumes, a move towards the increased utilisation of thermoplastic and cold plastic materials has been identified, the mayor said.
“Thermoplastic material can be sprayed to a thickness of some 1,4mm providing a significantly more durable marking.”
Added to this, Mashaba said, road marking paint is not very visible under night-time conditions. To improve visibility at night, small beads are added to the paint to provide improved night-time visibility.
Within the current financial year, the City has set aside a budget of R1,2 billion for the Johannesburg Roads Agency within its capital budget. Within this budget, is an allocation of R250 million for road rehabilitation and reconstruction. In addition to this, R181 million is allocated for the rehabilitation of bridges in 2018/2019, up from R49 million in 2017/2018. Investment in storm-water upgrades has also been increased to R226 million in the 2018/2019 financial year, up from R169 million in the previous year.
The mayor said R48 million has already been utilised to mark the City’s roads, with more work set to continue.
Ward 90 councillor Martin Williams welcomed the City to the ward where he highlighted that there were problems with the quality and durability of the painted road markings on the recently resurfaced sections of Jan Smuts Avenue.
“We look forward to today’s experiments and hope for positive outcomes,” he said.
The roads entity’s acting managing director Goodwill Mbatha, said almost 2 500km of road has been marked since July last year at a cost of close to R50 million.
MMC for Transport, Nonhlanhla Makhuba, said over 11 000 service requests were lodged for road markings from 1 July, showing the need residents have.
Mbatha also said that improved road markings potentially have a meaningful influence on the behaviour of the driver.
“Road markings is one of the most important factors in maintaining a high level of safety. [They] must supply information without diverting the driver’s attention,” he said.
Mashaba encouraged the JRA and the transport department to spend their entire budget so they can be allocated even more funds in the next financial year. “The JRA’s ongoing campaign to address the matter will go a long way in improving road safety and overall user experience for residents of the City,” he said.