The South African National Roads Agency SOC (SANRAL) recently awarded Aveng Grinaker-LTA and Strabag US $125m contract for the construction of Mtentu Bridge in South Africa. The two companies which came together for a joint venture will commence the project in early November later this year. The 1.1 km long bridge forms part of the N2 Wild Coast road (N2WC) project.
Social and economic benefits
The project is projected to reach completion in approximately 4 years. The bridge is publicized as one of the longest main span balanced cantilever bridges in the world. Mtentu Bridge will reach heights of approximately 220m. SANRAL said that the overall N2WC road project will play a vital role in improving travel time. It will serve to connect previously divided communities in the region. It will also open up opportunities in business and community-based tourism for the Wild Coast.
According to SANRAL communications manager Vusi Mona, the tender is valued at US $127.5m. The route will serve to improving the travel time between Durban and East London by up to three hours for heavy freight. It also provides a high mobility route through an area that is extremely isolated. As a result, the route will have significant social and economic benefits. This will lead to both local and regional development. SANRAL said that the project will create 8,000 full time jobs over the construction period of four to five years.
Two bridge constructions are used in the project. A push and pull method was used in the creation of the northern and southern parts while ta free staff building makes up the middle part. The bridge will have a total of 13 pillars.