M1 road (Johannesburg)
The M1 De Villiers Graaff motorway is a major freeway in Johannesburg, South Africa. The highway connects the southern areas (including Booysens, Eldorado Park and Soweto) with the city centre and extends further north through Sandton. Construction began in 1975 and resulted in the demolition of many properties and houses including numerous historical Parktown Mansions.
The M1 officially starts at the Uncle Charlies Interchange with the N12 Southern Bypass in Ridgeway. It follows a route north towards the city and meets the M2 highway at the Crown Interchange (which is immediately south-west of the city centre). The M1 then proceeds north through the leafy northern suburbs of Johannesburg, and the industrial area separating Sandton and Alexandra. The highway's northern terminus is at the Buccleuch Interchange where it meets with the N1 Western Bypass and the N3 Eastern Bypass. The part of the M1 in Sandton, roughly between Corlett Drive and the Buccleuch Interchange is maintained by the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport (part of the Gauteng Provincial Government), while the section between Corlett Drive and a portion south of the CBD is maintained by the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) with the remainder to the South also maintained by the provincial government. The northern section maintained by the Gauteng Provincial Government is also designated the P206-1.
Speed limits, which are strictly enforced, change as one gets nearer to the centre of Johannesburg, from 100 km/h in the northern section, beginning at the Buccleuch interchange, finally dropping to 80 km/h near the city centre. South of the CBD, the speed limit again increases. Before an upgrade in 2012, the speed limit was 120 km/h on the provincial government maintained stretch in Sandton, dropping to 100 km/h as it ran through the Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg (from the start of the JRA maintained section before Corlett Drive). However, subsequent to rehabilitation work in 2012, the limit in the northern section was also dropped to 100 km/h.
The M1 experiences significant traffic congestion during a typical rush hour. Several proposed public transport systems, including bus rapid transit and the (Gautrain) railway system aim to alleviate some of the traffic on the M1.