Training stadium and rail station completed for Durban

Posted On Wednesday, 16 June 2010 02:00 Published by Commercial Property News
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Having successfully completed two significant projects in Durban linked to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, contractor Grinaker-LTA reports that it is proud of the role it played in the "Sunshine City's" preparations for this historic event

Grinaker-LTASugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Clermont boasts a brand new pitch, and other enhancements, for its use as an official training venue for the World Cup. Grinaker-LTA undertook the R80-million contract to redevelop the stadium for Ethekweni Municipality. The contractor also completed a R126-million contract for the construction of Durban's new Moses Mabhida Rail Commuter Station - which formed part of the upgrade of the Moses Mabhida Stadium precinct in central Durban, for the World Cup.

In addition to the construction of a new pitch, complete with irrigation, the major upgrade of Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium also included the complete re-construction of the North and South grand stands, the construction of new car parks and roads, new locker rooms, media facilities, lounges and new high mast lighting. The stadium also boasts a striking new look fitting for its role in the World Cup - an elaborate new structural steel roof over the North grandstand, supported in front by a huge arch spanning more than 80 metres. Richard Moore, contracts director at Grinaker-LTA Building East, elaborates: "This arch has both aesthetic and practical value. It is an eyecatching addition to the stadium's design, but it has also eliminated the need for columns, thereby providing all spectators with an uninterrupted view of the pitch." Grinaker-LTA worked closely with KPM Consortium and the client to ensure a successful project. KPM was specifically formed for this project and is owned by TQM.

Job creation, training and the involvement of the local community were all critical elements of this project. A Community Liaison Officer was appointed in consultation with the local ward councillors, and local skills and sub-contract resources were utilised by Grinaker-LTA wherever possible. A total of 350 000 manhours have been worked, with 800 people employed on this contract at its peak and 71 new jobs being created in the process.

While Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium is much smaller than the vast main stadiums built around the country for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Moore notes that Grinaker-LTA's experience in working on three of the major stadiums certainly brought benefits and added value to this project. "As a leading national contractor, Grinaker-LTA has been involved in the construction of Soccer City, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and training venue Orlando Stadium. This experience was certainly brought to bear in our work at Sugar Ray Xulu," he says.

Situated adjacent to the existing Isaiah Ntshangase (formerly Walter Gilbert) road-over-rail bridge, the new Moses Mabhida Rail Commuter Station was built for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), explains Steve Poorter, contracts director at Grinaker-LTA Building East. “We are extremely proud to have been part of this significant, high profile project,” he adds.

The contractor's scope of work covered three main elements. The first of these was construction of the rail infrastructure changes, including trackworks, over head track electrification and signalling. The second element was the construction of the two platforms, and finally, Grinaker-LTA built the station deck and associated facilities. In addition to a very tight programme and completion target, challenges for Grinaker-LTA included working within a busy operational rail network close to the main Durban station. Construction safety was, as always, a priority, Poorter stresses. “This was particularly important with live high voltage overhead power lines and trains passing at normal operating speeds.” The contractor also had to co-ordinate its work so as to minimise disruptions to the existing rail services.

Despite the challenges, however, Grinaker-LTA handed over the new station on schedule, and it is an attractive addition to Durban's public transport system for the 2010 World Cup and beyond, he notes.

Last modified on Tuesday, 09 July 2013 23:24

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