Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  29 Apr 2009

ENGINEERING: Bridging Transport Problems


Recent Western Cape Business News

Cape Town is currently being transformed by a number of transportation projects that are readying the City for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Vela VKE Consulting Engineers’ Cape Town office is playing its part on a number of fronts.

The Structures Division is involved in developing two new pedestrian bridges that will provide safe access from the CBD to the new 68 000-seater stadium being built on Green Point Common. The first of these structures is a 101m long 4m wide structural steel bridge that crosses the busy Buitengracht arterial as it enters the city.

As the bridge is situated in a busy urban environment a simple but bold beam structure was considered appropriate. Because of the limited space for the approach ramps, the vertical rise of the bridge had to be limited and up-stand beams were the only option.

However, the need to provide multiple access points onto the structure meant that an up-stand beam was only possible on one side. A design using a fabricated steel “torsion” box was therefore developed to handle the asymmetrical support condition. The result is a unique deck section.

The design team includes GAPP Architects and the bridge incorporates some unusual features such as LED lighting in the handrails units, lifts for disabled access and a laminated glass weather screen.

The site of the bridge has set the design team some interesting challenges. Working next to two of the city’s biggest hotels has meant that noise disruption must be kept to a minimum. All of the bridge’s concrete and steel components will therefore be fabricated off-site and erected during the hotels’ low season between April and October. One side of the bridge will in fact be founded on one hotel’s underground parking garage. Reducing the weight of the structure wherever possible was therefore critical. For this reason a light steel deck structure was the preferred option.

Construction of this project is scheduled for completion in December 2009. A second pedestrian bridge on the fan mile to the stadium will begin construction in July 2009.

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