Sani Pass Upgrade

29 May 2014 21:03 #60905 by stefangrab
Replied by stefangrab on topic Sani Pass Upgrade
There are likely bigger matters at stake here than we might realize. Lesotho is currently having the road tarred from Mokhotlong to Sani Pass (top). And the Chinese construction crew are plundering the area .....with litter, digging up soft wetland soils as these are a good base for levelling the new road, dumping waste onto wetlands and quarrying slopes at lib. A bloody nightmare up there and no environmental oversight.

Anyway...there has to be a reason to upgrade this road.....and there would be no point doing this, if the Sani Pass section were not tarred. I suspect that the Lesotho government is putting on pressure on SA...and they can as they have the water! So I suspect there are much bigger economic powers controlling this matter.

Personally, I have seen tarred roads go up in Lesotho, I have given my advice and warnings, which have not been heeded, and subsequently seen the tarred surfaces disintegrate in a matter of a few years. The problem is that the constructions are using cheapest options and not made to last.

Sani Pass is problematic as the upper bends are in deep shadow throughout winter and ground seepage (i.e. from subsurface) will cause frost heave. The problem is compounded when adding salt, as the salt crystals further disintegrate the asphalt. Once this happens, the process accelerates as moisture penetrates fractures, where both salt and ice crystals further destroy the surface. This can be overcome through specially designed and engineered surfaces that require substantial foundations - whether this will happen we'll see. If it is the usual asphalt ...then it won't last much longer than a few years if we'r lucky. Then the best option will be to remove the tarr...and we'll have our dirt road back...a bit like the road between Ox-Bow and Mokhotlong (although that is now being tarred for the second time...and should be better given that the Italians are involved).

Finally - yes, the road will be much more dangerous and prone to accidents, esp in winter ....as is the case every winter up Moteng Pass. The reasons for this is that even a little ice will get vehicles skidding off the road, whilst ice on a gravel surface still offers traction through gravels and stones etc.

In my view, tarring the road has political undertones, and is indeed utterly devastating to tourism, the environment and very sadly, may result in loss of lives and injuries in years to come.

We need to all get together with our mnt bikes and cycle this road for old times sake!
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30 May 2014 07:58 #60907 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Sani Pass Upgrade

Nor had it been “conclusively demonstrated” that a hard surface for the Sani Pass would bring large benefits to substantial numbers of people, said Suchet.


This seems to be a common conclusion in evaluating these proposals.

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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30 May 2014 11:25 #60910 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Sani Pass Upgrade
dumb us of our tax money again... :thumbsdown:

I see the environment impact is not a priority either as our Government has taken a 3rd world attitude to this aspect

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30 May 2014 11:33 #60913 by Viking
Replied by Viking on topic Sani Pass Upgrade
The DEA's ease with which they "change their mind" does not bode well for the cable-car EIA and resulting DEA recommendation.

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”

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05 Jun 2014 01:56 #60991 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Sani Pass Upgrade
If they do decide to tar it, despite all protestations from eia's. Could they not use some form of course gravel impregnated into the tar surface, sought of like a course sand paper effect to help prevent vehicles skidding because of black ice.

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06 Jun 2014 20:36 #61016 by newton
Replied by newton on topic Sani Pass Upgrade
Reading what Stefangrab wrote about the road in Lesotho where they are tarring the section between Sani Pass and Mokhotlong-I'm wondering what this section looks like at the moment. A year ago we travelled this section. I don't know a lot about road building but to me it looked as if they didn't really do a lot to stabilize the areas next to the road and the rivers downstream of the new roads were like mud. Does anybody know if they did something to stabilise the soil?

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16 Jan 2015 14:49 #62620 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Sani Pass Upgrade
According to Mountain Backpackers on FB, Sani has been closed due to part of the road collapsing:

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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20 Jan 2015 12:31 - 20 Jan 2015 14:16 #62657 by Spykid
Replied by Spykid on topic Sani Pass Upgrade
Saw this pictures from the past weekend. It was not closed apparently but undo able with certain vehicles.




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Last edit: 20 Jan 2015 14:16 by intrepid. Reason: embedded attached images

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26 Feb 2015 10:48 #62904 by susanalkema
Replied by susanalkema on topic Sani Pass Upgrade
Hi Guys, would anyone know what the status is of the Sani pass at the moment? Who could i contact?

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26 Feb 2015 12:49 #62905 by JonWells
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