Victoria Falls Bridge’s over 100-year lifespan confirmed

20 Jun, 2024 - 11:06 0 Views
Victoria Falls Bridge’s over 100-year lifespan confirmed Victoria Falls Bridge

Rutendo Nyeve, Sunday News Reporter

THE Victoria Falls Bridge’s life expectancy still stands at well over 100 years, subject to continued firm maintenance works, the Emerged Railways Properties (Pvt) Limited (ERP) has revealed.

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

In a statement issued by the ERP board, it noted that one of its key mandates is to ensure that the Victoria Falls Bridge is maintained in such a way that its structural integrity is maintained so that its safe usage and economic viability are also assured.

“The latest Principal Inspection was undertaken by Rambøll, a Denmark based structural engineering firm and their inspection report states in part that 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 inspection report 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,” reads the statement.

The board said it is clear from the inspection report that the life expectancy of the bridge is 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 to continuing the rigid maintenance regime highlighted and which ERP ensured is implemented without deviation.

“Based on the above, ERP now provides assurance to all stakeholders and users of the bridge that the facility remains structurally sound, safe and thus also economically viable

“To this end, ERP is pleased to advise that this year in September 2024, the 119th year of the bridge will be commemorated.” reads the statement.

Giving a brief background of the bridge, ERP said a principal inspection is undertaken every five years and is deliberately undertaken by an international independent consultant with the last such inspection 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, Health and Safety experts, and security experts, among others, undertake an inspection of the bridge also to ensure that its structural integrity is confirmed.

“Finally, a qualified and experienced contractor undertakes the ongoing and quarterly maintenance of the bridge and regularly checks on the bridge’s structural and operational integrity,” reads the statement.

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