R2.9m To Clean Up Collapsed Geldenhuys Pedestrian Bridge- Vusi Mona

A pedestrian bridge collapsed on the N3 highway in Johannesburg, South Africa, injuring 4 people. The bridge fell on three trucks and a car. Authoroties say it will take up to two days to clear the debris. Picture: DANIEL BORN for THE TIMES

The assessed last cost for the destruction of the crumbled Geldenhuys passerby connect 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 representative Vusi Mona stated: “The assessed last cost of decimating and expulsion from site is R2.9 million. The issue has been given to our safety net providers, who are following due process.” Sanral can’t uncover subtle elements of the organization that possesses the truck mindful as the issue has been given over to their back up plans

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