Slope bridge bridgingMZAMBA, South Africa

Client bridgingMZAMBA - Community Steering Committee, Mzamba, Südafrika
Architects buildCollective – NPO for Architecture & Development, WienFachhochschule Kärnten, Österreich
Planning 2013-2014
Execution 2014-2015
Construction cost 0.2 Mio. Fr.
Services Structure:
Design phase
Execution phase
Awards - Prix Acier 2016 - Schweizer Stahlbaupreis
- European Steel Bridge Award 2016 -
Sonderpreis "Special Social & Research Award"
- AfriSam-Preisträger Kategorie D -
Sustainable Social Programme
- Blue Award 2016 (International Student Competition
for Sustainable Architecture)
Publication Ein aussergewöhnlicher Brückenschlag
Topics Structural steelworkCable structureInfrastructureBridges

The benefit project bridgingMZAMBA designated the planning and ensuing realisation of a pedestrian bridge close to Port Edward, South Africa. The bridge spans the river Mzamba and links both sides of the Mzamba canyon to enable the people of the poorer side access to infrastructures like schools or infirmaries on the other bank. The construction was planned in co-operation between the FH Kärnten and Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer Civil Engineers and implemented by buildCollective and the Mzamba-Steering Committee. In close collaboration with the local community and the tribal elders of the region the requirements could be defined and all the necessary conditions for the constructions established in advance.

From a static point of view it is a cable structure with two pylons dividing the construction in three fields. Steel hollow sections are suspended from the suspension rope as brackets on which the walkway is laid up on, consisting of steel profiles in longitudinal direction of the bridge and a wooden grating. Beneath the walkway stabilizing ropes are situated.

When planning the bridge support structure the exponential ratio between span and extent of the forces respectively material consumption was taken into account and an accordingly optimized solution worked out.

A bridge support structure whose two pylons are positioned beyond the riverbed was successfully designed. The height of the pylons furthermore enabled, through an appropriate choice of the positioning, a minimization of the horizontal forces. That the montage of the construction took place by predominantly untrained helpers was already considered in the planning. The pylons were constructed as modular frameworks made from L-Profiles with simple screw connections. Those were assembled on the ground and afterwards erected, the lifting process was supported by a joint on the foot of the pylon. The pre-fabrication of the steel components permitted a production regardless of weather conditions and independent of the construction site as well as a subsequent galvanizing under controlled circumstances and therefore enhanced a reliable corrosion protection which constitutes an important condition for the durability of the construction located at the coastal region close to the Indian Ocean.