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R1.3bn Bridge City rail link on track for 2013 completion

By: Irma Venter
21st June 2012

Construction work on the R1.3-billion, 3.5 km new dual Bridge City rail link (BCRL), north of Durban, was on schedule, and should be completed by the end of March 2013, said Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) group CEO Lucky Montana on Thursday.

The new passenger link would connect the mixed-land use Bridge City development, which encompasses the communities of Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu (INK), with existing rail infrastructure, through an underground station at the new development.

The rail link would tie in with the existing multi-use rail line at Duffs Road station. New train turnaround facilities will also be constructed at Dalbridge, south of Durban, to ensure operational integration with the north-south rail corridor, said Montana.

The north-south corridor was also earmarked for infrastructure modernisation, in preparation of the anticipated new rolling stock to be deployed in the passenger rail system by 2015, he added.

The new Bridge City station would also include a bus and taxi interchange.

The new rail link is the largest rail infrastructure development project in the Durban area, said Montana. The project was largely funded by Prasa, with some contributions by the City of Ethekwini and private developers.

Design of the BCRL was completed in July 2010, with construction kicking off in July 2011. Completion is expected at the end of March next year.

The contract to design the infrastructure was awarded to a consortium led by Crowie Projects as lead project implementing agent. The consortium partners include LDM Quantity Surveyors, Focus Project Managers and Arcus Gibb Consulting Engineers.

Construction and civil works were awarded to Grinaker-LTA as the lead contractor, with Tshireletso Business Engineering responsible for all electrical works, Actom for signalling and SIMS Perway for the rail infrastructure.

The number of direct and indirect employment opportunities on the project will reach 2 000, using local contractors and labour, noted Montana.

The BCRL project includes the construction of three viaducts, three aqueducts and one road crossing. One viaduct is being constructed in situ and the remaining two will be manufactured in a precast yard about 2 km off site.

The entire project would require about 8 000 m3 of in situ concrete and 1 000 t of steel for railway track construction and concrete reinforcing, says Montana.

Earthworks would include removing about 250 000 m3 of redundant soil, which includes sandstone, clay and shale, as well as importing about 300 000 m3 of the required grade of soil for filling and formation.

Prasa would oversee an environmental rehabilitation process to ensure the integration of the railway infrastructure with the surroundings, said Montana.

He said the agency had also made provision in the project for ten students from the INK area to further their studies in the engineering field. All these students have been placed at universities, technical colleges and universities of technology, and will be assigned to different specialist areas in the rail construction environment upon completion of their studies.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter


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Zuma opens Durban rail link project
South Africa
Saturday 19 October 2013 - 1:04pm

October 19 - A R1.3-billion rail link project has been unveiled in Durban's KwaMashu township.

DURBAN - President Jacob Zuma has urged the public to look after rail infrastructure when he unveiled the Bridge City Rail Link Project in Durban on Saturday.

"I urge all of you to utilise these services that are being unveiled today (Saturday) and to look after them," Zuma said in a speech prepared for delivery.

"We will continue as government to roll out these infrastructure projects, but we need your support to look after them, they are a national resource.

"We cannot and should not therefore burn trains just because we are angry that they have come late."

The new rail link is 3.5km long and cost R1.3-billion.

The new Bridge City station included a bus and taxi interchange and was the largest rail infrastructure development project in the Durban area.

"Being only 17km from the Durban city centre, the Bridge City Centre brings together the communities of Phoenix and Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu and links them into the urban system," Zuma said.

"It serves as the social and commercial centre to an area housing a population of over 800,000 people, who at present have generally poor access to facilities and social services."

The new rail link would improve access to facilities and social services.

"Bridge City is thus a catalyst for economic growth and the empowerment of surrounding communities," Zuma said.

"This is why we say this wonderful development is part of the celebration of freedom as it contributes to improving the quality of life of our people."

Over the past five years government invested over R40 billion in passenger rail infrastructure and services, and a further R50-billion would be invested over the next few years.

"Today we have trains that cut across residential areas and cities making it easy for commuters to travel," he said

"This is part of the developments that come with living in a free democratic society, a freedom that many fought for and sacrificed for."
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