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Did you know #DYK – Cost to build Roads

Cost to build Roads

Cost to build Roads

What is a road?


A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places that has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by foot or some form of conveyance, including a motor vehicle, cart, bicycle, or horse) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road which costs a vast amount of money to build


The question “Cost to build Roads” was ignited from Trevor Manual’s speech to CESA (Consulting Engineers South Africa) dated 08 October 2009 (#throwback) where he had mentioned the high cost of building of roads in South Africa.


Please Click on link to view the speech: http://www.cesa.co.za/cesaway_presentations/Trevor_Manuel_%20Speech.pdf

Flanders Drive Intersection – Mt Edgecombe:

This is a very difficult question to answer as road construction costs may vary as there are many factors to consider when building a road, please view the list below:

  • Design
  • Amount of environmental mitigation required
  • Terrain
  • Soil Conditions
  • Type of Roads
  • Width of Roads
  • Road Standards
  • Machine and Labour Costs
  • Skill of operators and labours
  • Accommodation
  • Contractors operating cost (such as fuel, labour, interest rates, insurance)
  • Traffic Management
  • Safety Aspects of pedestrians, detours
  • Time available to complete the task
  • Time of the year
  • Construction materials used
  • Availability of materials (shipping material outside the province vs using local materials)

“Road construction techniques are similar throughout the world, you can possibly achieve cost estimates once the main conditioning factors have been identified, by applying figures from similar Road construction projects. For reasons of comparing costs, it is advisable to break down labour and machine costs into different elements. The following breakdown is suggested: Surveying, staking the alignment and clearing right of way; formation of the road; rock blasting; Draining facilities (ditching, culverts); Crushing gravel; Gravelling, grading and compacting; Construction and environment protection works (bridges, retaining structures and soil stabilisation works). The cost of construction; Miscellaneous works (such as transport, delivery and minor earthworks; Projects servicing costs). Once the costs have been calculated for the different elements, unit costs (costs per m, per square m, per piece of construction work) should be developed to facilitate in estimating costs in future road projects and for comparative purposes. http://onlinecivilforum.com/site/index.php/2016/10/27/road-estimate-excel-sheet/


What does 1 km of road cost to build in South Africa? Up to R25 million per km according to CSIR (this information is sourced from the link below if you beg to differ please let us know): http://www.answers.com/Q/What_does_1km_of_road_to_build_cost_in_south_africa


The question still remains to be answered why are the construction cost of roads still so high and are they paved with “gold”?


For your information from OUTA (Organisation undoing Tax abuse): Please see Paper on High Pricing, Collusion and Capture of National Road Construction.


Please click to view active (Road) Projects currently on our system:

About Pauline Rainbird

I have been working at L2B since March 2011 and my current position is Deputy Head of Department - Africa. When I am not working I am either riding my bicycle or spending time with my dogs.

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