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N4 Nelspruit Northern Ring Road




The South African National Roads Agency Ltd. (SANRAL), awarded a 30 year concession to Messrs Trans African Concessions (TRAC) to build and operate the N4 route between Pretoria and Maputo.

SANRAL, together with TRAC is continuously monitoring traffic growth patterns on this route and it now appears that, as a result of strong growth in traffic volumes on the route, and the exceptional economic growth of the Nelspruit Region, the N4 route through Nelspruit on the long term will become oversaturated. Such over saturation will have an international and local impact.

Internationally, the N4 is the main link between South Africa and Mozambique.

South African exports through the Maputo harbor are steadily increasing, and may even grow stronger with future improvements of the Maputo harbor in the pipeline. It is essential for SADC to enhance opportunities for sustained economic growth in the region. Therefore, the important N4 link should not become a stumbling block in future as a result of capacity constraints. It is therefore essential that an alternative high mobility route be implemented.

The objective of the route is therefore to provide a high mobility alternative to through traffic especially heavy vehicles currently using the existing N4 through the CBD of Nelspruit. The route will also form part of an important link for traffic from Mozambique, Swaziland, Nsikazi and Nkomazi to the 2010 Mbombela sport stadium located west of Nelspruit.

Project Description

The N4 Nelspruit Northern Bypass starts on the existing N4 at Cairn ±6km west of Nelspruit and bypass Nelspruit directly north of the Riverside Government Complex. The route ends east of Nelspruit on the existing N4 alignment at Karino ±1km east of the Plaston road (Road 636) intersection.

Proposed N4 Northern Ring Road

The project includes the following:

  • N4 – 8 BP – 21,21km single carriageway with surfaced shoulder and climbing lanes
  • P154-7 link – 4,2km single carriageway with surfaced shoulders
  • P166-1/P9-2 – 3,7km single carriageway with surfaced shoulders
  • Road 636 – 0,28km single carriageway with surfaced shoulders
  • N4-7X link – 1,87km single carriageway with surfaced shoulders
  • Road 759 – 2,34km gravel district road
  • Access Roads – 3,2km gravel road
  • Climbing lanes
  • Mataffin directional interchange on existing N4-7X (Y-type) at Mataffin West
  • Boschrand access interchange on P166-1/P9-2 (parclo).
  • Croc Valley directional interchange on P154-7 link (Y-type) east of Nelspruit.
  • Karino access on Road 636 interchange (parclo) at Karino.
Rail Crossings (4)
  • Nelspruit – Machado : West of Nelspruit
  • Nelspruit – Graskop : North of Nelspruit
  • Nelspruit – Komatipoort : East of Nelspruit
  • Croc Valley Siding (1,2km) : At Croc Valley farm
Major River Crossings (3)<br />
  • Crocodile River : West of Nelspruit
  • Nels River : North of Nelspruit
  • Crocodile River : East of Nelspruit
  • 21 Bridges : 26 892m²
  • 12 major culverts : 2 374m²
  • Retaining wall at Karino : 540m²
Project Progress

The project is currently in the detailed design stage and should be ready for tender purposes towards the end of 2007. The EIA is far advanced and will be presented for approval by the environmental authorities by October 2007.