Aurecon Lesotho to design bridges for Polihali

Aurecon Lesotho to design bridges for Polihali

MASERU – THE Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) has appointed Aurecon Lesotho (Pty) Ltd to design and supervise the construction of the major bridges to be built under Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP).
The bridges project also includes the realignment of the A1 national road in the vicinity of the bridges.
Lesotho-based White Life Consultants (Pty) Ltd and Leporogo Specialist Engineers CC of South Africa are sub-consultants.
Valued at approximately M123 million, the contract commenced on November 5.

Construction of the bridges is expected to be completed in early 2024.
“The LHDA is proud to announce another contract award. Each of these is another step on our journey to deliver Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project on behalf of the governments of Lesotho and South Africa and to advancing the economies of our two countries,” the LHDA boss Refiloe Tlali said.

Three major bridges spanning the Polihali reservoir – the Senqu, Mabunyaneng and Khubelu bridges – will be built on the existing A1 national road between Oxbow in the Butha-Buthe district and Mokhotlong in the mountainous, north-east of Lesotho where the Polihali Dam and Polihali Water Transfer Tunnel, the major works of Phase II, will be constructed.
The bridges will restore the A1 access that will be lost as a result of the reservoir inundation.

Constructed at high altitude in mountainous terrain across a deep valley, the Senqu Bridge is expected to be over 100 metres tall and almost 600 metres long.
It is the largest of the major bridges.

The other two will be smaller with an approximate height of 20 metres and lengths of 45 and 150 metres.
The bridges will be required when inundation of the reservoir starts just after the completion of the Phase II major works.
Water transfer to South Africa is expected to begin in 2026.

Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project builds on the successful completion of Phase I in 2003.
It delivers water to the Gauteng region of South Africa and utilises the water delivery system to generate hydro-electric power for Lesotho.

Phase II will increase the current supply rate of 780 million cubic metres per annum incrementally to more than 1 270 million cubic metres per annum.
At the same time, it will increase the quantity of electricity generated in Lesotho and is a further step in the process of securing an independent electricity source to meet Lesotho’s domestic requirements.

This is the second contract award that the LHDA has made within three months.
In October, the LHDA announced that Nthane Brothers and Sinohydro Corporation JV had won the M235 million tender for the construction of a 16 kilometre road that stretches from Mapholaneng to the Khubelu River. Nthane Brothers owns 60 percent shares in the joint venture.

Staff Reporter

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