South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) has awarded the highly anticipated tender for the Mtentu Bridge. SANRAL has awarded the project to the Aveng Strabag Joint Venture (JV).
The venture consists of Aveng Grinaker-LTA, a major South African-based construction company and Strabag, a leading construction company in Europe with extensive experience in major balanced cantilever methodology bridge construction.
Construction of the US$123.7m project is set to start in early November 2017 and take approximately 40 months. The tender forms part of the N2 Wild Coast road (N2WC) project.
A first for SA
As the first of its magnitude in South Africa, the Mtentu Bridge is one of the longest main span. Moreover, the project is balancing the cantilever bridges in the world and will reach heights of approximately 220m.
“Critically, it is going to create employment and business opportunities in the area. The whole of the project will be a growth engine for the Eastern Cape both during and post construction,” Vusi Mona, SANRAL’s Communications Manager said.
However, the construction of the 1.1km long bridge in a remote location is a major undertaking that requires specialized engineering skills and building techniques.
According to the roads agency, the bridge forms the backbone of the greenfields portion of the N2WC road. The project is a national priority under coordination and direction of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC) and one of government’s 18 Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) to support economic development and address service delivery in the poorest provinces.
Improving travel time
The entire project will play a vital role in improving travel time, connecting previously divided communities in the region. Also business opportunities and community-based tourism for the Wild Coast will get boost.
The route will have significant social and economic benefits. Nonetheless, the bridge will act as a catalyst for local and regional development,” said Vusi Mona.