Major road diversions are in place as from today on the M1 motorway in Port Louis between Victoria station and the Caudan flyover as construction works for the new Decaen flyover start. The diversions were announced at a site visit yesterday by the Traffic Management and Road Safety Unit (TMRSU), the Road Development Authority and the police.
The new flyover is meant to allow traffic entering Port Louis from the south to bypass the Place D’Armes. “Currently, Place D’Armes is the focal point of traffic entering Port Louis. By removing traffic entering Port Louis at Place D’Armes from the south, we can alleviate almost 50 percent of the traffic merging there,” says Dharamdev Nathoo, deputy director of the TMRSU.
The Decaen flyover will start just after the Caudan interchange, northbound, and will merge with traffic on Lord Kitchener Street, opposite the Line Barracks. The Decaen bridge is part of the authorities’ plans to decongest traffic in the capital.
Ashok Matar, chief inspector at the traffic branch, unveiled the road closures and diversions in place until the end of the construction works due in a year. Both fast lanes (lanes on the far right of the motorway) northbound and southbound on the M1 are shut 24/7 over a 300–metre stretch from the exit of Victoria bus station to shortly before the Caudan flyover which remains fully operational both ways. Entrance to Caudan also remains unaffected by ongoing works.
Northbound, the slip road of the Caudan roundabout leading onto the M1 is shut during the construction works to allow northbound traffic from the Caudan flyover to shift lanes leftward. Commuters headed north leaving Les Salines, Cassis or the Caudan are expected to take the second exit of the Caudan roundabout onto Maupin street then turning left onto Souillac street (Brabant/Moka street), heading straight onto Lord Kitchener (Line Barracks) and John Kennedy (Air Mauritius building) streets and onto the Place D’Armes. Commuters are however reminded that joining the motorway northbound from Place D’Armes is prohibited from 7.30 a.m to 9.30 a.m. Vehicles headed north coming from John Kennedy street should turn right on Place D’Armes, then turn left on the Royal road and turn left again onto Jummah Mosque street to join the motorway northbound.
An alternative to drivers headed north leaving Les Salines, Cassis or the Caudan is to take Kwan Tee street, then turning left onto Réserves street and turning left again at the junction with Cassis road (Royal College Port Louis) and merging with the M1 there.
Commuters leaving Deschartres street and headed north via the Caudan roundabout are advised to avoid the Caudan roundabout by turning right at the junction between Deschartres and Lord Kitchener streets and to continue onto Place D’Armes or to reconsider their itinerary so as to avoid Deschartres street altogether.
Deschartres street nonetheless remains open to commuters headed south leaving Port Louis. The slip road allowing vehicles to leave the M1 southbound at Deschartres street is also still operational. A system of tapers and buffer spaces has been set up to segregate traffic from ongoing works and road markings will be changed accordingly both ways to direct commuters.
Congestion and a fair share of confusion are expected by the authorities. The Decaen flyover is estimated to cost Rs340 million.