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'Victoria Falls Bridge structurally safe’

by Staff reporter
23 Jul 2023 at 08:07hrs | Views
THE Emerged Railways Properties (Pvt) Limited (ERP) has assured its stakeholders and users of the Victoria Falls Bridge that the facility remains structurally sound, safe and economically viable with its life expectancy standing at well over 100 years, subject to continuation of the maintenance regime that has been witnessed over the years.

ERP which manages the Victoria Falls Bridge is a company jointly owned by two governments through their respective Railways Companies, namely, the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL).

The assurance was made during the two days Infrastructure Summit that was held at Victora Falls last week. A statement released by the ERP Board yesterday said one of its key mandates was to ensure that the Victoria Falls Bridge was maintained in such a way that its structural integrity was safe for usage to ensure its economic viability.

"ERP has a strict bridge maintenance regime that ensures that these objectives are achieved. Specifically, a number of activities are undertaken without fail and they include a principal inspection undertaken every five years and is deliberately undertaken by an international independent consultant.

The last such inspection was undertaken in August 2022. Every year, a combined team of technical staff from key institutions including the Roads Development Agency (RDA) of Zambia and the Roads Department of Zimbabwe, among others, undertakes an inspection of the bridge also to ensure that its structural integrity is confirmed," reads the statement.

The company said a qualified and experienced contractor has been engaged to undertake the on-going maintenance of the bridge and regularly checks on the bridge's structural integrity.

"The latest Principal Inspection was undertaken by Rambøll, a Denmark based structural engineering firm and their inspection report states in part: ‘As documented in the present report, the Victoria Falls Bridge is generally very healthy, and the current maintenance schedule is sufficient for securing the durability.

When the items listed in the summary above are taken care of, and the good maintenance practice continued, we assume a service life of the main structures of 200 years from the original construction, that is until 2105 (~2100)."

"It is clear from the above that the life expectancy of the bridge is in fact, estimated at no less than 200 years from the year of construction in 1905 which implies that its life expectancy now still stands at well over 100 years, subject of course, to continuing the rigid maintenance regime highlighted above and which ERP ensures is implemented without deviation," further reads the statement.

Source - The Sunday News