Tender awarded for South Africa’s longest cable-stayed bridge

The Msikaba Bridge construction will begin in February 2019 after a successful tendering process. 

The Msikaba Bridge will be the third-highest bridge in Africa after Bloukraans (216-metres) and the Mtentu bridge (223-metres).

The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) has announced that the tender for the second of two mega-bridges that are part of the N2 Wild Coast project has been awarded.  

The bridge will be built near Lusikisiki over the Msikaba gorge.  

Construction on the nearby Mtentu River Bridge began in January this year. Both form part of the future new N2 Wild Coast Road. 

The successful bidder was Concor Mota-Engil Joint Venture – a strategic partnership between Concor – a large and majority black-owned South African civil engineering company – and Mota-Engil – a major international construction firm. 

Concor brings a proven track record in the construction of major roads and bridge projects in South Africa and Africa, while Mota-Engil has experience in large-scale cable-stayed bridge projects and delivery of major civil engineering projects throughout Africa. 

The construction is due to start in February 2019 and will take 33 months after an initial three-month ramp-up period starting in October 2018.  

The total contract amount is approximately R1.65-billion excluding VAT. 

The tender award comes after the agency announced in July 2017 it had to be re-advertised as SANRAL received no fully responsive tenders for the initial bid. 

The tender was re-advertised on 3 November 2017 and closed on 11 April 2018. The long period was required due to the size and complexity of the tender. 

Interesting facts and stats about the bridge: 

  • 28 000m3 of concrete; 
  • 2700-tons of structural steel; 
  • 2500-tons of cables; 
  • Height of piers will be 127-metres; 
  • Length of main span will be 580-metres, making it the longest main span constructed by cable-stay method in Africa and the second-longest main bridge span in Africa after the recently completed Maputo-Catembe suspension bridge in Mozambique, which has a total length of 3041-metres and a main span of 680-metres; 
  • Back span will be approximately 130-metres; 
  • Height of the deck will be approximately 195-metres above the valley floor. It will be the third-highest bridge in Africa after Bloukraans (216-metres) and the Mtentu bridge (223-metres).