After over two years of being closed for repairs, motorists in Bloemfontein can finally rejoice with the opening of the Vereeniging Bridge and road. The bridge and road closure led to residents signing petitions as they felt the construction took too long. As a result, the acting Executive Mayor of Mangaung Metro Municipality, Gregory Nthatisi, will officially open the road for public use on Friday.
The bridge’s construction and an extension of Vereeniging Road began in May 2021, which caused mixed feelings among residents. It led to commuters having to reroute their journeys to work, causing inconvenience. When the municipality missed the first deadline, councillor David McKay started a petition, alleging that the Metro had not paid subcontractors at least R12 million during August of 2022.
After gaining momentum at the beginning of 2023, McKay called on the community to sign a petition to force the Metro to open the road by 15 February 2023. Fortunately, 92% of the road is complete, and Centlec has installed the streetlights required by law before a dual carriageway may open. Therefore, there was no longer any reason why the road could not be completed and reopened before the middle of February.
The Vereeniging Bridge and road are vital to the Metro’s economy, as it is a main artery to the Hamilton industrial area. In addition, it is the primary connection between the south-eastern and south-western suburbs of Bloemfontein. Therefore, opening the bridge and road will significantly impact the community’s daily commute and economy.