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New Mega-Bridge to Be Built in South Africa

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

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The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) recently announced that the second of two contracts had been awarded for a two-part mega-bridge project set to run along the Wild Coast.

The winning 1.65 billion rand ($115 million) bid for the Msikaba Bridge project went to joint venture South Africa’s Concor and Mota-Engil, an international construction firm.

Bridge Plans

The cable-stayed Msikaba Bridge is set to be second only to the Maputo-Catembe Bridge, a 680-meter-long (2230-foot-long) suspension bridge in Mozambique, in terms of length; both are located on the African continent. Msikaba Bridge will have a tower-to-tower distance of 580 meters. The new span will also be the third highest bridge in Africa, with a deck 194 meters high.

Construction is set to begin on the new bridge in February 2019, and will run roughly two-and-a-half years. Initial planning is to begin next month. The structure, designed by Dissing + Weitling, will feature a 22.8-meter-wide deck equipped with walking paths along both edges. Roughly 2,700 tons of structural steel and 2,500 tons of cables are projected to be used in the project.

"Concor brings a proven track record in the construction of major roads and bridge projects in South Africa and Africa, while Mota-Engil has experience in large-scale cable-stayed bridge projects and delivery of major civil engineering projects throughout Africa," said Sanral.

First Bridge Project

Construction on the aforementioned first of the two bridge projects, Mtentu Bridge, began in November 2017, and is expected to be completed by 2021. The Mtentu Bridge will also reportedly be one of the longest main span balanced cantilever bridges in the world, standing as high as 220 meters with a span length of 1.1 kilometers.

According to Highest Bridges, both bridges are part of a larger plan for the older N2 Wild Coast Toll Road; the improvements will make the route 85 kilometers shorter and three hours faster for travelers.

The N2 Wild Coast road project looks as if it will be a job creator; Sanral predicts that 1.8 million labor days (or 8,000 full-time equivalent jobs) will be created over the construction period of both bridges, totaling roughly four to five years in all.

Editor's Note: Corrected bridge deck width dimension.


Tagged categories: AF; Bridges; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Infrastructure; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Upcoming projects

Comment from Michael Byrne, (9/25/2018, 7:12 AM)

22.8 meter wide deck. Gotta watch those decimal places!

Comment from Laura Kemmerer, (9/25/2018, 9:02 AM)

The issue has been corrected. Thank you for your sharp eye, and thanks for reading!

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