Durban rail station on track for completion

Posted On Friday, 04 December 2009 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Construction of Durban's new Moses Mabhida Rail Commuter Station - which forms part of the upgrade of the Moses Mabhida Stadium precinct in central Durban, ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup - is well underway

2010Contractor Grinaker-LTA, which is undertaking the R126-million construction contract, reports that the piling work, one of the two new platforms and most of the new concrete structure is now complete and the project is on track for its scheduled completion in March 2010.

Situated only 2km North of the main Durban station, adjacent to the existing Walter Gilbert road-over-rail bridge on Isaiah Ntshangase Road, the new station is being built for the newly-established Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), explains Steve Poorter, contracts director at Grinaker-LTA Building East. “We are extremely proud to be part of this significant, high profile project, and are  working closely with our client, professional team, specialist rail sub-contractors and the local community to ensure its success,” he adds.

The contractor's scope of work covers three main elements. “Our contract includes the construction of the rail infrastructure changes, including trackworks, over head track electrification and signalling. The second element is the construction of the two platforms, and finally, we are building the station deck and associated facilities,” Poorter states.

In addition to a very tight programme and completion target, challenges for Grinaker-LTA include working within an extremely busy operational rail network close to the main Durban station. The work needed to be split into two phases to allow the normal train services to operate at all times during the construction period. Construction safety is also a key priority, Poorter stresses. “This is particularly important with live high voltage overhead power lines and trains passing at normal operating speeds.”

But this is just the beginning of the challenges Grinaker-LTA's team plans to overcome during the 10-month contract duration. “This is a demanding contract not because of its scale, but because of its complexity,” Poorter notes.

Adding to this complexity is the site's  location within an old river course, and the resultant high water table. The restricted working area and difficult site access across the rail lines  are also posing their fair share of demands on Grinaker-LTA's team. In addition, the contractor is committed to ensuring that all work is co-ordinated so as to minimise disruptions to the existing rail services.

“It's a tall order, but if anyone can do it, Grinaker-LTA can,” Poorter enthuses. Despite the economic downturn, the contractor's track record and reputation are ensuring that it remains busy, with recent and ongoing projects in KwaZulu-Natal including the high-profile Bridge City Mall, as well as the refurbishment of Durban’s Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium and a new City Campus in Richards Bay for the University of Zululand.

 

Last modified on Thursday, 31 October 2013 08:38

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