Venterspruit Steel Bridge which was built in 1910, was severely vandalised in early 2014.

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The bridge is located in the Bergville (Kwa Zulu Natal) area, which provided access to school children as well as major commercial farmers. Due to theft of the steel trusses, which was being sold as scrap metal, the structural integrity of the bridge was severely compromised.

As a result this structure posed a great danger to the community, hence the Department of transport had to take immediate action by off closing access to the structure.

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Nankhoo Consulting Engineers was tasked with rectifying the situation as soon as possible. Within 6 months Nankhoo Consulting Engineers restored safe access to the community. Within this tight schedule, design, procurement of a contractor and construction was achieved.

Construction works involved removal of the vandalised deck which was replaced with a similar but more structurally sound deck.

The columns and abutments were left intact as the historic appearance of the structure had to be maintained (Abutments and columns were cast in a solid dolerite blue stone).

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CHALLENGES

  1. Pressure from industry leading farmers as they were losing millions of rands in revenue due to longer haulage distances and inaccessibility of super link trucks. Farmers escalated this issue to Carte Blanch.
  2. 3 Month long steel strike.
  3. In 1910 the bridge was built for 1770 pounds and in 2014 rehabilitated for 4.1million.

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SOUTH AFRICA FACES MAJOR ISSUES OF VANDALISIM WITH REGARDS TO GOVERNMENT INFRASTRUCTURE. THIS INCIDENT HAS BEEN REPORTED TO THE POLICE AND A CASE HAS SINCE BEEN OPENED.

COMPILED BY: RESIDENT ENGINEER – NOEL SARJOOPARSAD