There was an excited buzz in the air on the evening of the SSI SAICE 2008 Awards event. Awards finalists, clients and special guests made their way to the Bytes Conference Centre on 30 September 2008 and waited with bated breath to see who the final winners of each section and category would be. Richard Cock, our distinguished master of ceremonies, was there to see us through the evening as presentation after presentation was shown to a receptive audience.
The Berg Water Project is aimed at meeting the growing water demand from all sectors of the Western Cape. Its annual contribution of 81 million m3 of water to the Western Cape water system (an increase of 18%) will satisfy demand until 2013. State-of-the-art engineering characterised the design and construction of the 62 m high concrete-faced rockfill dam as well as the downstream abstraction works and pumpstation. The project also made an important contribution to the socio-economic development of the Franschhoek region and of the Western Cape in general
The Mkomaas River Pedestrian Bridge is the only prestressed concrete ribbon bridge in Africa. Its main span of 150 m equals the world record for this type of bridge. The bridge was constructed from concrete elements suspended from cables tensioned between abutments, which were then stressed along the length of the bridge by tensioning a second set of cables placed in ducts through the elements. Compression stresses induced in this way compensate for tensile stresses resulting from live loads on the structure. The project earned a commendation in the category Technical Excellence
The Garden Route, one of the main tourist attractions and also a major national road on the south coast of South Africa, experienced abnormally high rainfall in August 2006. A major slip failure occurred in one of the road cuttings, which severely damaged the roadway. Measures were immediately taken to restore this vital link, culminating in the construction of a R17 million half-viaduct bridge structure
In December 2005, BKS Engineering and Management were awarded the tender by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry to provide consulting services for the rehabilitation of major bridge structures over South Africa's large dams, namely the Gariep, Van der Kloof and Pongolapoort dams. At design stage, the envisaged work was split geographically into two contracts. This article covers the work performed under the Free State construction contract for the Gariep and Van der Kloof dams, comprising 70% of the total construction value.
The basement of a new building adjacent to the existing Umhlanga Hospital was constructed using the 'top-down construction method'. This is reportedly the first application of this method in the Durban region, and possibly in South Africa, although it has been utilised elsewhere around the world.
The new geometric standard of the Dr Belcher Road being that of a four-lane road, it was not necessary to construct bus / taxi loading bays as public transport vehicles are stopping on the street, in the left lane at the boarding points. In Mkuhlane / Brits / Ramatsoele / Moshoeshoe streets in Mangaung existing bus and taxi loading bays were upgraded. This entailed the provision of bus shelters and the paving of dusty waiting areas.
This project will facilitate the improved mining of the Maccauvlei West coal reserve, which supplies the nearby Lethabo Power Station. The bridge carries an internal access road over an electrified railway line and provincial road in the Anglo Coal facility.
The provision of a new pedestrian bridge connecting the communities of Belhar and Kalkfontein in Cape Town over the R300 has gone a long way to alleviate the plight of Kalkfontein residents looking to access essential services in Belhar. The main objective of the R14 million project was to improve the safety of motorists and pedestrians using the R300 freeway. In doing so, the community of Kalkfontein was provided with safe access to basic amenities such as clinics and schools.
The Zibambele poverty-alleviation programme was conceived in the early 1990s by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport as a routine road maintenance system designed to alleviate poverty in the rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal.
In view of the results achieved and the impact the project has had on improving the lives of communities, this has been a hugely successful project. This outcome was made possible through strong partnerships between USAID, the DPLG, the South African Association of Consulting Engineers, and LBG and Africon as implementing agents.
The project approaches demand management from a different perspective in that it focuses on the role of the community in managing and decreasing water losses through altering perceptions and wasteful water use habits. The community awareness campaign helped to capacitate the community with knowledge to contribute constructively to the decision making process of the municipality by alerting the municipality to the pertinent challenges and thus the efficient channelling of funds and interventions to address the most crucial areas of water loss. The project utilised water demand management as a vehicle for employment creation and created an opportunity for 51 indigent community residents to participate in the implementation of the knowledge dissemination initiative and in managing the water demand.
The achievements of members of the public and the profession in finding ingenious solutions to pressing problems, resulting in a better quality of life for all, are recognised and rewarded in this way.
When it comes to corporate awards, global engineering company Golder Associates is no stranger. Having recently scooped the highest accolade in the prestigious Cesa Glenrand MIB engineering Excellence Awards 2008, as well as having been named the winner of the Deloitte Best Company to Work for 2008, this innovative and aspirational concern is setting the industry benchmark in a highly competitive local and international market.