Coreslab recently helped Tshidaho Construction Services bring an important bridge construction project in Limpopo back on track. When completed, this bridge will connect Lambani, located 53km outside of Thoyandou, with other villages in the deep rural Ha-Lambani area. They are separated from one another for extended periods every time the river bursts its bank and floods the gravel roads and a small culvert crossing that connects Lambani and the other villages. During periods of heavy rainfall, residents would often also have to rely on dangerous makeshift bridges for mobility.
The project is being undertaken on behalf of Thulamela Local Municipality and the construction works are being supervised by MCE Consulting Engineers. It is one of many road and bridge construction projects that the municipality will be undertaking in its jurisdiction to improve access for constituents.
Coreslab manufactured and installed the 39 precast-concrete bridge beams and 78 bearing pads for the project. The precast-concrete beams, each weighing about 4,8t, were installed in only three days to enable Tshidaho Construction Services to complete the construction of the remaining portion of the superstructure. This was after the principal contractor realigned the levels of the two piers based on Coreslab’s surveys and advice.
“Coreslab is well represented in the province and is known for being able to deliver according to expectation, while also providing a cost-effective service. These are among some of the reasons that we chose to partner the company as our bridge-beam supplier on this project. Clifford Mogale and his team did not let us down and we will, therefore, not hesitate to use Coreslab’s services on future bridge projects,” Patrick Mudau, owner of Tshidaho Construction Services, says.
The bridge is 7,5m high and 8m wide and consists of three spans, two 11,6m and one 12m in length. As part of the project, Tshidaho Construction Services will also upgrade sections of the gravel roads on either side of the bridge. This will include raising the levels of the approach roads so that they are aligned with the new bridge.
Mogale says that the project presented very few challenges. “We again made very light work of the installation, relying on our extensive experience manufacturing and installing precast-concrete bridge beams and culverts for many road builders over the years. This is combined with our state-of-the-art transportation and lifting equipment that facilitates working in remote areas. Of course, excellent team dynamics between Tshidaho Construction Services and Coreslab also contributed to a very successful outcome,” he says.
Tshidaho Construction Services is a Construction Industry Development Board Level 7 civil-engineering contractor. The company has grown significantly since its inception in 2001, having undertaken many road, as well as bridge and culvert construction projects for municipalities.
Ahead of the project’s completion at the end of August 2021, Mudau concludes that he is proud of his involvement in constructing the very first bridge in Ha-Lambani. “This infrastructure that has been highly anticipated by the communities in this area and I am glad that we have been able to deliver it, while also creating employment opportunities for about 90 people from poor areas during the construction. Many of them also acquired new skills that they will be able to use on future Thulamela Local Municipality projects in the area,” he concludes.