Beam placement keeps Sandspruit Bridge on course for completion

10:02 - the beam placement gets going10:02 - the beam placement gets going as a giant crane takes up its station at one end of the new section of the Sandspruit Bridge in Sandton. (Photo supplied - CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION)

A major milestone in the construction of the new Sandspruit Bridge in Sandton was reached when the project's Phase 2 beam placement was successfully completed in under seven hours on Friday, 8 April.

15: 45 - almost there15: 45 - almost there as the laying of the last of 16 beams, together weighing a massive 304 tons, is placed on its support structure on either bank of the Sandspruit River. (Photo: supplied - CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION).Sixteen beams amounting to a total of 304 tons were placed without any incident, bringing the new bridge along Katherine Street, between Grayston and Marlboro Drives, a step closer to completion on schedule in September 2016.

Clearing traffic bottlenecks on Katherine Street

The new Sandspruit Bridge will be both higher and considerably wider than the old bridge, and therefore better protected when the Sandspruit River is in flood. The raising of the bridge has allowed for the establishment of more storm water capacity and additional embankment stabilisation and protection.

The old, two lane-bridge was completely unsuited to the volumes of traffic that traverse the Katherine Street stretch between Grayston and Marlboro daily.

16:04 - job successfully completed without incident16:04 - job successfully completed without incident. (Photo: supplied - CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION).The new, six-lane bridge will bring an end to traffic bottlenecks at this point, while opening the way for the Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) route that the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) is laying down along Katherine Street.

Establishing the backbone of a new Corridor of Freedom

The bridge is located roughly 700 metres before Rea Vaya's trunk route peels off Katherine Street onto the M1 flyover BRT Bridge - another major BRT infrastructure project that the JDA is overseeing.

Construction of the new Sandspruit Bridge began in November 2014. In November 2015, the new western section of the bridge was completed and opened to traffic, allowing for the old bridge to be demolished and work to start on the central and eastern sections.

The new bridge will be higher and consider widerThe new bridge will be higher and consider wider, allowing four lanes of ordinary traffic and two lanes of BRT buses to cross the Sandspruit simultaneously. (Photo: supplied - CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION).The Phase 1C extension of the Rea Vaya network will form the backbone of the Louis Botha Avenue Corridor of Freedom between the Joburg CBD, Alexandra, Sandton and suburbs further north.

Dedicated BRT lanes are being constructed to create two new BRT trunk routes, the first running along Louis Botha Avenue between Parktown and Wynberg, the second crossing the M1 highway - on the dedicated BRT bridge being built between the Grayston and Marlboro interchanges - before turning left into Katherine Drive and proceeding as far as the Gautrain station precinct in Sandton.