The construction of a 100 metre long bridge over the Hennops River forms part of a 22 month contract awarded to Esorfranki Civils for the building of a 4.2 km dual carriageway.

Piling for the new bridge, being undertaken by Esorfranki Geotechnical, is already well advanced. A total of 168 piles are needed for the two decks and a total of 640 tonnes of steel reinforcing will be used in the construction of the bridge.

The new section links up with a 6.5 km double carriageway from the N14 freeway to the K71 which was completed in July last year.

Peter Dittberner, alternate director at Esorfranki Civils, says the road building contract being undertaken for the Department of Roads was awarded in October with work starting in November last year. Completion is set for October this year.

“The bridge is being constructed in two phases. The 100 metre southbound section will be completed first and opened for traffic. Thereafter, we will demolish the existing old bridge and construct the northbound section of the bridge in its place.”

Dittberner mentions that a precast yard has been established on site where 72 precast beams, each weighing 41 tonnes, as well as the permanent formwork and bridge balustrades are being manufactured. The casting of the deck will be undertaken in-situ.

The contract also covers the supply and erection of 171 (20 metres) scissor-mast street lights being installed from the N14 freeway to the P39/1 interchange at Ladium; installation of 19 culverts for storm water; provision of traffic lights at three intersections; and the relocation of various services, including an 11 kv power line from Wierda Road to the P39/1, 11 kv underground feeder cables, water services for Sunderland Ridge and Laudium, and a long length of concrete palisade fencing. There is also limited work on the relocation of a sewer line.

Controlled blasts undertaken in-house were required to remove a total of 33 000 m³ of rock to construct a cutting on the southbound lane and it is likely that additional blasting will be required. All rock and soil removed during road building is being crushed and screened for later use by Esorfranki, or stockpiled adjacent to the project site.

The road comprises two 150 mm selected layers of G7 and G5 blend, a lower and upper sub base comprising the same blended material with 3% cement mixed in by the recycling machine. Thereafter, the road shoulder is being built using G7 and blended fill material, after which 150 mm layer of G1 from PPC is laid as the base course followed by the final premix layer.

In terms of the contract, 40% of the contract value is being allocated to BBBEE companies and emerging contractors. Local contractors include Balekane which is undertaking the hauling of the material and accommodation of traffic, Rhino Horns Construction which is constructing concrete bases for the high rise street lights, and Rhino Tiger Security for security work on the project. Members of the local community are being employed and trained to construct road drainage and other small civil works such as pothole repairs and laying of kerbs. A project steering committee meets monthly to monitor employment levels and training

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