Construction World December 2017


Special Mention

lifecycle for the proposed bridge, from the outline concepts and feasibility studies, through to the preliminary and detailed design, tendering and procurement of the construction contractor, and contract administration for the construction of the new structure. The bridge is located adjacent to the town of Mvumase, at the base of the Maphumulo valley. There was no formalised vehicle access to the site, and no cellphone- signal within a 15 km radius of the site. During construction, this impacted on communication with project teammembers, suppliers, and transportation of plant and materials. Other site difficulties included unfavourable weather conditions, with summer temperatures exceeding 40˚C, and wet weather which made access to site impossible and prevented construction work from continuing. The challenges associated with the location of the works resulted in increased demands for work execution by skilled labour. Large mobile cranes and cherry-pickers, which would have normally been used during the construction of the concrete and steel portions of the tower elements, and during the erection of the suspension bridge

cables; were unable to access the site. Transportation of materials to site was an additional challenge. The construction technology, or skills, methods and processes used to undertake the bridge construction in the remote location involved detailed planning, ongoing discussions between the engineer and the contractor to ensure that the construction was done in accordance with the design, emphasis on maintaining quality control in accordance with project specifications, maintaining environmental compliance, and managing health and safety; which all contributed to the completion of this project being a significant feat.

It is a landmark structure with an overall length of 180 m and towers that are nearly 27 m high, and forms part of the Pedestrian Bridge Programme, initiated by the client, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport (KZNDoT). The programme seeks to redress past imbalances to historically impoverished communities by implementing infrastructure which will improve the quality of life of these communities. Prior to the construction of the bridge, community members crossed the 150-metre-wide Tugela River by wading across the river with their valuables held over their head in a bucket. Hatch was appointed by the client, KZNDoT as the consulting engineer to undertake all work stages of the project The new Tugela River Pedestrian bridge opened to the public in June 2017 as the first steel pedestrian suspension bridge in the Mvumase, Maphumulo District, in Northern KwaZulu- Natal, South Africa.


• Company entering: Hatch Africa • Client: KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport • Contract value: R7 782 065 • Project start date: 2012 • End date: June 2017

• Main contractor: Ingonyama Nicon • Consulting engineer: Hatch Africa • Steel contractor: Steelcon

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