20 October 2010 - The South African Institution of Civil Engineering’s (SAICE) annual SAICE awards celebrate outstanding achievements in engineering, with the awards representing the cream of crop of engineering endeavors.
This year, Aurecon scooped a coveted award, together with an accolade, for two of its projects. Cunene River Bridge in Xangongo, Angola, won the award for The Most Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement in the International Projects Category, while the Gautrain Viaduct V5C in Centurion was Highly Commended in the Technical Excellence Category of the Most Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement.
“The beauty of the Cunene River will now have to compete with the imposing sight of the biggest bridge built in Angola,” stated a reporter on Angolan Public Television during his coverage of the inauguration of the Cunene Bridge on 14 September 2009.
The bridge lies on the major arterial road linking the cities of Lubango and Ondjiva in south-western Angola and replaces a host of temporary structures that were used to span the Cunene River after the last permanent structure was destroyed early in the Angolan conflict.
The bridge is an exceptional feat of engineering achieved under extremely challenging conditions, including landmines, floods during the rainy seasons, lack of skilled labour, difficulty in the acquisition of building materials long supply lead times and importation procedures.
Its success is a tribute to strong leadership by Aurecon and its joint venture partners. “Demanding aspects such as quality control standards were carefully adhered to, and the construction team, with its rich cultural diversity, worked together to make this massive project a success,” says Jose Miranda Aurecon’s Regional Manager Africa West Coast and South America. He adds that the new bridge is a prime example of a well-executed engineering solution that will both serve its commercial purpose and serve as a source of pride and achievement for Angolan nationals.
The Gautrain Rapid Rail Link is one of ten Spatial Development Initiative (SDI) projects implemented by the Gauteng Department of Public Transport, Roads and Works (Gautrans) to stimulate economic growth, development and employment opportunities in Gauteng.
Detail design of the project was divided into a number of design packages, with Aurecon awarded Detail Design Package 6A. The distinguishing aspect of this design package was Viaduct V5c which is the single longest viaduct on the project. Founded on extremely difficult subsoil dolomite formations mean the area is prone to sink-holes which, if left untreated, may have potentially catastrophic consequences for rail users. These conditions had a significant influence on the structural design of both the sub- and superstructure, forcing Aurecon to find innovative ways of stabilising the structure.
“We are immensely proud of both of these achievements,” comments Dr Gustav Rohde, Chief Executive Africa – Middle East. “Both display an extraordinary level of technical excellence and a commitment to delivering successful outcomes not only for our clients, but the communities in which these projects are enacted.”