A Richards Bay couple are lucky to be alive after their vehicle nearly sank when a stretch of the John Ross Parkway (R34) caved in on Friday afternoon, resulting in a massive sinkhole, reports the Zululand Observer.
Traffic was brought to a standstill as the gaping hole could be seen on the part of the road heading towards Richards Bay (before the Mondi traffic lights), leaving motorists stuck for hours on the parkway.
The sinkhole itself stretches about five metres in length, crossing the entire length of the double lane towards Richards Bay.
The road on either side of the R34 has been cordoned off and uMhlathuze Traffic officials, together with City engineers, were on scene trying to redirect traffic so that the road is not in use.
Members of the public were urged to use alternative routes, such as the N2, to get to and from Richards Bay.
The KZN department of transport (DoT), who are in charge of the design and maintenance of the road, told the Zululand Observer they were in talks with the City to “try to redirect and alleviate traffic flow on the R34”, said KZN DoT Spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane.
“We will be sending down a team of engineers in the morning to assess the damage and work on an interim plan.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused to members of the public,” said Ncalane.
Richards Bay couple Sphiwe Mbense (32) and Nomthandazo Dumakudu (28) escaped serious injury when their vehicle just managed to cross the stretch before the road caved in.
Watch the interview with the couple from Mzingazi.
– Caxton News Service