News / South Africa

Vicky Abraham
1 minute read
9 Sep 2017
6:05 am

R2.9m to clean up bridge collapse

Vicky Abraham

Engineers have determined what caused the structure to fall.

The estimated final cost for the demolition of the collapsed Geldenhuys pedestrian bridge on the N3 and clearing of the site is R2.9 million.

The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) said it had not yet removed the debris that is temporarily stockpiled in the road reserve and is awaiting approval from the department of labour to proceed.

Five vehicles – four trucks and a sedan – crashed into the collapsed concrete bridge on August 9 after an impact force on the pier in the median of the highway.

Several people were injured in the incident. Sanral’s acting engineering executive, Louw Kannemeyer, said all evidence suggested the impact was caused by an 18.1 ton coil of steel that was found lying about 100m north of the collapsed bridge on the N3 northbound. He said the coil must have come off a moving truck.

“Marks on the road led directly from the point of impact to the position where the steel coil came to rest. The weight of the coil of steel, moving at speed, can induce an impact force far in excess of the pier’s capacity.

“Debris that scattered radially away from the pier to a distance exceeding 40m confirms an external impact force was of a very large magnitude. The report indicated the force involved was far in excess of the design requirements of the bridge,” said Kannemeyer.

Sanral spokesperson Vusi Mona said: “The estimated final cost of demolishing and removal from site is R2.9 million. The matter has been handed to our insurers, who are following due process.” Sanral can’t reveal details of the company that owns the truck responsible as the matter has been handed over to their insurers. – vicky@citizen.co.za