Ma­jor con­tracts to ben­e­fit lo­cal busi­ness

Con­struc­tion of one of the long­est bridges in the world will give back to the com­mu­ni­ties it serves and boost de­vel­op­ment

Financial Mail - - CORPORATE REPORT -

With the N2 Wild Coast pro­ject get­ting to im­ple­men­ta­tion phase, the roll­out of ma­jor con­tracts has be­gun.

The R1.6bn con­tract for the con­crete viaduct Mtentu bridge, the high­est bridge in Africa, was awarded to the Aveng Stra­bag joint ven­ture — be­tween Aveng Gri­naker-lta — and Euro­pean con­struc­tion com­pany Stra­bag. The con­trac­tors have been on site since Jan­uary.

The 1.1km-long bridge, with a 40-month es­ti­mated con­struc­tion time, will be one of the long­est main span bal­anced can­tilever bridges in the world and reach heights of 220m.

The R1.65m Msik­aba bridge near Lusik­isiki was awarded to the Con­cor Mota-en­gil joint ven­ture — be­tween Con­cor and Mota-en­gil.

Con­struc­tion of the bridge, with a deck height of 195m and length of 580m, will start in Fe­bru­ary and is ex­pected to take 33 months. This is Africa’s third-high­est bridge af­ter Mtentu and Bloukrans, and the long­est ca­ble-stay method­ol­ogy main­frame bridge in Africa.

San­ral en­gi­neer­ing ex­ec­u­tive Louw Kan­nemeyer says the pro­ject is be­gin­ning to award the ma­jor con­tracts.

A num­ber of con­tracts for haul roads to the bridge sites are al­ready at con­struc­tion phase as are con­tracts for re­lo­ca­tion of af­fected house­holds and graves, with sig­nif­i­cant SMME spend ahead of the 30% tar­get.

For San­ral, this is its largest sin­gle on­go­ing pro­ject. “In terms of bridge struc­ture, these are the two largest bridges we have worked on in SA. Even in the south­ern hemi­sphere, they will be among the top 10 long­est and high­est,” he says.

Kan­nemeyer says once the route is com­plete, there will be 112 new kilo­me­tres of road, cut­ting sub­stan­tial time and dis­tance off the Kwazulu-natal to Um­tata route. “In terms of to­tal trans­porta­tion costs, 90% is the road user-re­lated cost and 10% is the cost of pro­vid­ing and main­tain­ing the road over its life­cy­cle. This rep­re­sents huge sav­ings gen­er­ated for the SA econ­omy.”

Pos­i­tive im­pacts on the lo­cal economies of Port St Johns, Lusik­isiki and Mzamba and towns such as Flagstaff, Bizana and Holy Cross are ex­pected to flow through.

To en­sure in­clu­sion of SMMES, 31 Grade 1 and 2 SMMES drawn from com­mu­ni­ties have com­pleted the­o­ret­i­cal train­ing and sim­u­la­tion ex­pe­ri­ence and are now in­volved in men­tored con­struc­tion of lo­cal ac­cess roads. An­other 60 have started train­ing. Be­tween R400m and R450m will be al­lo­cated to wages for un­skilled, semi-skilled and skilled work­ers em­ployed di­rectly on the pro­ject and a fur­ther R1.5bn to lo­cal SMMES.

Louw Kan­nemeyer: Huge sav­ings gen­er­ated for the SA econ­omy

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