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Jabulani Road-Over-Rail Progress

Figure 1: Aerial view of the construction of Molapo bridge in Jabulani, Soweto (HBC, 2021)

The progress continues on the Jabulani Transit-Oriented Development, an initiative funded by the Johannesburg Development Agency. The project is managed by Johannesburg Road Agency personnel. HHO Consulting Engineers are the lead civil and structural designers for the project, involving works which include the construction of a 1.5km single carriageway road, with sidewalks to accommodate pedestrians. The road also consists of a 37m span bridge-over-rail which will provide access for vehicles and pedestrians. A total of 12 precast beams were launched into position last month, April 2021. The focus of construction will shift to the deck once the South abutment structure is completed. The final concrete lift and cast is due to be placed by the end of May 2021. The construction team’s primary contractors, as a joint venture, include HBC Construction and Nweti Construction.

Current progress:

The construction works for Molapo bridge, at Jabulani, is progressing rapidly. 12 precast beams, all of which are 37 meters long and weighing 55 tonnes each, have already been launched in place, supported by the North and South abutments. Due to the daily locomotive operations, it is difficult to complete the casting of the deck. In order to achieve this, permits and a shutdown operation plan are required from PRASA. The Contractor is in the process of preparing a methodology for casting the deck.

Figure 2: Steel reinforcement at the South abutment wall is fixed in position, in preparation for the concrete casting (A. Mahabeer, 2021)

Figure 3: Installation of shutters at the South abutment wall, in preparation for the concrete casting (A. Mahabeer, 2021)

Figure 4: Fresh concrete mix being pumped to form the South abutment wall (A. Mahabeer, 2021)

The remainder of construction works continue all around the bridge and are stated as follows.

South Abutment:

1. Preparation for the casting of a few parapet bases is in progress. Roughly, 15 bases have already been cast and are currently in the process of being cured.

Figure 5: Parapet bases leading towards the bridge South abutment (A. Mahabeer, 2021)

2. G7 fill material is currently being placed and compacted, together with parawebbing of MacRes wall panels. The fill material level needs to reach approximately 4.5 meters in height, to reach the required design level.

Figure 6: MACRES wall retaining the roadbed, at the South abutment (A. Mahabeer, 2021)

3. Preparation is being made for the final concrete lift to be cast on the abutment wingwalls and breast wall.

4. Universal access ramps are currently being installed at street intersections. Installation of street benches and grassing road verge is also underway at surrounding road intersections.

Figure 7: Universal access ramps at intersections (A. Mahabeer, 2021)

North Abutment
1. The construction team is currently placing G7 fill material. At this stage, only one row of MacRes wall has already been placed.

Figure 8: Roadbed and MACRES wall panels being installed at the North abutment (A. Mahabeer, 2021)

2. The relocation of the stormwater line, with accompanying manholes, has already been constructed.

Figure 9: A new stormwater manhole, at Legogo Road, directing the flow of water to the attenuation pond (A. Mahabeer, 2021)

By Anvesh Mahabeer (Resident Engineer)

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