Aurecon Lesotho has been awarded the contract to design and supervise the construction of the major bridges to be built in Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP).

The contract, which is valued at M123 million, started on 05 November and includes the realignment of the A1 national road in the vicinity of the bridges. The construction on the project is expected to be completed in early 2024.

Lesotho-based White Life Consultants and Leporogo Specialist Engineers of South Africa have been also been appointed as sub-consultants.

Scope of works

Three major bridges spanning the Polihali reservoir – the Senqu, Mabunyaneng and Khubelu bridges – will be constructed on the existing A1 national road between Oxbow in the Buthe-Buthe district and Mokhotlong in the mountainous, north-east of Lesotho where the Polihali Dam and Polihali Water Transfer Tunnel, the major works of Phase II, will be constructed. The bridges will restore the A1 access that will be lost as a result of the reservoir inundation.

Constructed at high altitude in mountainous terrain across a deep steep valley, the Senqu Bridge is expected to be over 100 metres tall and almost 600 metres long.  It is the largest of the major bridges.  The other two will be smaller with an approximate height of 20 metres and lengths of 45 and 150 metres.

Advancing economies

The bridges will be required when inundation of the reservoir starts just after the completion of the Phase II major works.  Water transfer to South Africa is expected to commence in 2026.

“The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) is proud to announce another contract award,” comments Refiloe Tlali, Chief Executive of the LHDA.

“Each of these is another step on our journey to deliver Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project on behalf of the governments of Lesotho and South Africa and to advancing the economies of our two countries,” she concludes.