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Road class



District road

Provide mobility between the activity centres such as the town and beach areas. Runs perpendicular to the coast.


Table 11

Classification of Roads



Distributor road


Collector road


Local road

Link district roads. Runs parallel to the coast.

Links local roads to distributor roads.

Provides access to lots.

(I) District roads

The existing roads between the Xai-Xai town and Xai-Xai Praia, as well as the road between the national road and the Hotel Chongoene, are classified as district roads (I). These roads run perpendicular to the coast, between the beach and the main inland national road. Care must be exercised to protect these roads from informal and unsafe direct accesses by providing well- spaced and visible intersection roads. Pedestrian walkways and public transport facilities must also be provided near settlements.

(II) Distributor roads

The distributor road links the district roads and runs parallel to the coast. No distributor roads existed in 1998. Three alternatives were investigated: a) a coastal alignment between the beach and the dunes; b) an inland alignment along the barrier lakes valley separating the dune topography from the inland; and, c) a backset alignment.

  • a)

    The continuous coastal alignment was rejected because of the higher environmental impact, the separation of inland development from the beach area and traffic disruption of the promenade. Sections of such an alignment had to be utilised in the vicinity of the existing development in Xai-Xai Beach, because access is already provided off these sections.

  • b)

    The inland alignment is geometrically feasible and it was thought to be designed at a later stage. For the present project, this alignment would not serve the proposed developable areas directly as a distributor road and cost would be high to link the proposed developments with the inland route.

  • c)

    The backset alignment was investigated as it runs on the inland edge of the developable area and thus defines this edge. It can be constructed in stages as the demand for land grows. No direct access to any individual properties should be given to this road. Only collector road or access roads from mayor concession area may intersect with it. This road will be designed for mobility and regional access, thus requiring relatively high design standards. However, the steep slopes on the dunes will constrain the design with respect to gradients and sight distance and necessitate careful siting of intersecting roads. The main advantage of the backset road is that it will not be visible from the beach area as it is often behind dunes and the height of the beach dunes cuts off the line of sight to the developments on the dune plateau.

The coastal section from Xai-Xai Beach to the east is at present served by a coastal road. The existing development along this strip is dependent on this access and will be until access from the inland is available. The area through which this route goes is already spoilt and partially developed. It is proposed that this coastal road is upgraded in the short term as distributor route, but it must be relocated towards the dunes to free the beach area and promenade from traffic. This will avoid pedestrians crossing the road on the way to the beach from, for example, the Caravan Park. This road must not be continuous along the beach and is shown to link up


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