Category Archives: Steel Bridges

REIDsteel Success at British Expertise Awards

By Tim Stiff, Senior Technical Director at Management Services

Components of the DFID-funded Rural Access Programme (RAP) in Nepal have been shortlisted for three major awards from British Expertise in recognition of the programme’s wide-reaching and sustainable impact on the lives of some of the world’s poorest people. Meanwhile, the consulting firm behind the programme’s design and implementation, IMC Worldwide, has itself been nominated in the category of Outstanding International Business (SME) for its work on RAP and other DFID-funded development programmes.

The UK has supported the development and construction of two bridges linking thousands of isolated communities in Eastern Nepal under the successful decade long Rural Access Programme. In July 2008, the GoN approached DFID for funding for the construction of the two bridges.

The overall RAP Bridge Component cost for both bridges and the Technical Assistance Consultancy for the project management and construction supervision by UK Consultant IMC Worldwide is approximately £5.9m (approximate because the of the exchange rate as the construction contract is priced in local currency).

The project involved the construction of two bridges one over the Sabha Khola River near a small town of Tumlingtar and the second over the larger Arun River at Leguwa. The Sabha Khola bridge provides an all-weather crossing of the seasonal river that was previously only fordable by four-wheel drive vehicles, motorcycles and pedestrians for approximately six months of the year.

The second bridge over the Arun river is considered the more important bridge as it provides an all season access for 203,000 people, approximately 280 kms of roads built under the various phases of the UK funded Rural Access Programme and enables the local people to be more able in conjunction with other UK funded projects in the district to lift themselves out of poverty and reduce their reliance on aid in both the immediate district and other six other districts directly served by the new crossing.

By comparison the total population in the Khadbari and Kharang districts directly affected, i.e within 5 kilometres of the Sabha Khola bridge site is currently only 3,300people. The bridge is however essential to the District as it provides all weather access to the Arun 3 hydroelectric project site, which means that by aiding infrastructure for the hydroelectric plant Nepal will be better able to address its current capacity shortfall in electric power generation and the District administration headquarters at Khadbari.

The bridge will also enable disaster relief agencies to cross the Sabha Khola River at all times of the year in the event of earthquakes or other disasters in the district.

There are little or no industries in the area apart from shop keeping, tailoring, vegetable farming and other small service business ventures. The main benefits of the bridges will be helping to secure food sufficiency through trade.

The agriculture income is generated from small scale seasonal farming of maize, groundnuts, bananas, mangos, pineapples oranges and rearing and selling of livestock. Locals will also have better access to services, such as health care.

The bridges project is being managed by the Redhill based UK Consultant IMC Worldwide under the broader Rural Access Programme, RAP2, and the consultant was  responsible for the conceptual design and layout and construction supervision of the bridges.

The foundations and abutments of the bridges have been designed to international standards in Nepal.

The two 120m bridges are currently the longest single span steel truss bridges in Nepal and were designed and fabricated in the UK by a well-respected UK firm Reid Steel based in Christchurch Dorset, to withstand earthquakes and flash floods.

It was also the first time that the cantilever launch method for the erection of the steel truss had been used in Nepal and this required detailed consideration of the erection methology to be built into the design. The bridge was cantilevered from both sides of the river with incremental erection of the truss bays facilitated by lifting the individual steel sections of the truss with gantry crane supplied as part of the truss steelwork.

Local residents, especially the more disadvantaged women, were hired where possible, and made a valuable contribution to the project by their involvement in mixing the large volumes of concrete required for the foundations, abutments and deck slab and construction of the gabion retaining walls and river protection works.

The Sabha Khola Bridge near Tumlingtar bridge was opened to traffic on 22nd January 2013 after taking 12 months to construct from start of foundations to the completion of the erection of the main truss and is an example of a successful transfer of technical, skills between the UK Technical Assistance Consultant and the Nepalese Contractors.

The Sabha Khola Bridge was formally inaugurated the Honourable Vidyadhav Mallik Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development and the Rt. Hon. Alan Duncan MP, Secretary of State for International Development on 29thApril 2013. Who is rpeorted to have said he was, “overjoyed that his favourite ‘Iron Lady’ Bridge (Sabha Khola) had received an award”.

The Arun Bridge at Leguwa was opened to traffic in October 2013. The official inauguration of the Arun Bridge took place in January 2014 with by the Nepal Chairman of the Council of Ministers with the and British High Commissioner and DFID Head of Nepal Office also in attendance.

International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, said: “These bridges designed and fabricated in Christchurch are a fantastic example of British business and British support making a real difference to some of thousands of very poor people in Eastern Nepal.

“It is a life-line that will allow communities to work and trade, send their children to school, and be better able to access vital services like health care without relying on aid.”

The Sabha Khola and Arun River bridge component has been specifically singled out in the category of Outstanding International Development Project for its role in helping hundreds of thousands of people lift themselves out of poverty and reduce their reliance on aid. The bridges have been described as “a lifeline” by Minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan, giving isolated communities in Eastern Nepal access to much-needed goods and services for the first time.


Terrain Services Ltd and REIDsteel

Terrain Services Ltd is a medium sized construction company incorporated in September 1997. Although initially based in Kampala, Uganda, from 2005 the majority of their work has been located in South Sudan.

REIDsteel has worked with Terrain since March 2008. Together, working with The Louis Berger Group we embarked on the USAID funded Sudan Infrastructure Services Project (SISP) to build 8 bridges across the 192km stretch of Juba-Nimule Road. These bridges ranged from 12 to 50m long.

During Sudan’s civil war, much of the infrastructure of the recently formed country of South Sudan was destroyed.

The construction of these bridges along the only paved highway in South Sudan enables development of the country. They allow transportation and trade to flow easily and efficiently to South Sudan, through Uganda from the port of Mombasa, Kenya.

Last year, Terrain expanded outside of South Sudan by gaining bridge projects local to their headquarters and further construction opportunities in East Africa.

When Ugandan coffee company, Kyagalanyi needed new facilities, Terrain contacted REIDsteel to design and fabricate the complete coffee plant.

This included a combined machine room and drying area measuring over 3800m². Additional steel structures are to be used for a hopper area, wet store and coffee store and an on-site office.

Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd is a member of the Volcafe Group, the coffee Division of ED&F Man. ED&F Man, based in London, is a specialist merchant of agricultural commodities, trading specifically in sugar, molasses and coffee.

Kyagalanyi is one of the oldest licensed coffee exporters in Uganda following the liberalisation of the Uganda coffee industry in 1992. In 2000, they became the first 9001:2008 certified coffee exporters in Uganda. They then adopted the Occupational Health and Safety 18001 (OHSAS 18001) code in 2007.

The coffee procured and washed by Kyagalanyi is certified by the Rainforest Alliance. The company’s farming is also UTZ approved for sustainability and their overall practise is praised by the 4C initiative (Common Code for the Coffee Community).

Operating from one dry mill in Kampala and another in Mbale, they produce circa 400,000 bags a year, meaning they hold a market share of 11% of all Ugandan coffee exports. This contributes to Uganda’s claim as the second biggest coffee producer in Africa (the first being Ethiopia).

Since growing to provide 22,500 metric tons  of green coffee to 30 countries around the world, Kyagalanyi is one of the leading Robusta and Arabica coffee exporters from Uganda.  They are able to do this due to the quality and quantity of coffee that 8000 farmers across Uganda produce with the company.

For now, work continues on the main factory roofing. The build should be ready for Kyagalanyi to move into and use by July 2014. The MD of Kyagalanyi is pleased to announce that, “our new [Terrain and REIDsteel] mill at Namanve will enable us to centralise all of our export processing in one site providing an economic and efficient export process”.

Our first bridge with JTEC in Mauritius

By Design Engineer, Peter Mrozinski

REIDsteel’s erection supervisor Jimmy Sloane has just returned from Mauritius where he successfully supervised JTEC’s installation of a REIDsteel bridge. The bridge replaced an old steel railway bridge that had been corroding since 1902 and had fallen into a bad state of repair.

We didn’t see a dodo bird, but we did notice that L’Escalier is twinned with Spelthorne in Surrey!

This new bridge at Sourdine was built to eliminate a narrow and dangerous roadway into the gulley, used heavily by large bulky sugar harvest vehicles and bagasse transport, as well as by the general public. The bridge was funded in part by the sugar company and in part by the state.

Construction Manager of Building and Civil Engineering Co. Ltd, Jean-Pierre de Rosnay, had worked with REIDsteel on previous projects and was confident that REIDsteel could deliver a functional bridge of high quality on time and within budget.

The overall project was to completely realign and rebuild the surrounding roads and link them into the new bridge thus creating an efficient solution for the predicted traffic flow within the area.

REIDsteel worked in association with local tradesmen and the surrounding community to design a bridge that suited all needs and worked best for the environment.

The bridge had to be designed to cross a ravine approximately 100 metres wide and 22 metre deep. Several schemes for the new bridge were explored and following a study of the terrain it was agreed that the best solution was to use the existing piers and to construct an additional new pier in the middle of the river. This allowed the main span of the REIDsteel bridge to be designed as a stayed bridge with the central tower being supported on the new pier.

The stayed bridge part by REIDsteel spanned 200 feet in 2 No. equal spans. As the gap across the ravine was approximately 350 feet, a local company was employed to provide conventional simply supported concrete approach spans on piers on either side of the main REIDsteel bridge.

The central stayed bridge by REIDsteel was designed in accordance with BS5400 for 2 No. lanes of vehicle traffic and for 2 No. pedestrian walkways cantilevered off along both sides.

All steelwork for the bridge was hot dip galvanised to British standards which will ensure long life and a low maintenance functional link for the sugar industry for many years.

With thanks to Jerry Teckyong of JTEC for his support, hard work and photographs.

REIDsteel in Nepal

Home to the highest point on earth, Mount Everest and the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, Nepal is an ancient and beautiful country.

Today, its people are looking to the future – The UK is helping by providing aid from the Department for International Development (DFID) and working with IMC Worldwide to support the Nepalese people in gaining reliable infrastructure.

The work is coordinated by Tim Stiff, of ICMW, acting as Team Leader for the Rural Access Programme, RAP2, and reporting back to the British government.

The only way for the country to advance and eliminate rural poverty is to build roads and bridges. Nepal’s total road network and density are low and only 43% of the population has access to all-weather roads.

As part of the Worldbank’s Road Sector Development Project (RSDP), REIDsteel had been asked to design, manufacture and erect three bridges; the Piluwah Khola, Sabu Khola and Arun Khola. In Nepali, ‘Khola’ means stream, which does not quite translate as the smallest of these bridges was 96m long!

The first two bridges were completed earlier this year and we are pleased to announce that the Arun Khola Bridge opened for traffic just a few days ago.

Situated in the Arun valley at Leguwaghat, Dhankuta, the Arun Bridge is a single 120m-span Road Bridge. It is constructed from paraboloid trusses complete with 6m wide carriageway and a 1m raised footpath on one side. The structure was hot dip galvanised for long life and low maintenance.

The average timespan for a bridge to be built in Nepal is five years. Kathmandu-based company, Kalika spent just ten months erecting from beginning to end; or rather, from both ends to the middle.

This speed was partly due to a lot of pre-planning and the provision of equipment designed and manufactured by REIDsteel to allow construction over a fast flowing river with no access into the river bed; and with a steep cliff approach at one end and a flat floodplain the other side.

It was inevitable that there would be difficulty transporting construction materials and tools to the site. To overcome this, REIDsteel’s shipped the bow-string bridge as unassembled metal members and crates of small parts and accessories which fit precisely into 20ft and 40ft containers. These were unloaded then taken in agricultural trailers along the narrow and muddy tracks of Nepal.

The bridge is built on well foundations 16m deep on both sides of the river and is designed to last 100 years, being earthquake and flood resistant. This is achieved by the inclusion of expansion/shrinkage joints at either end to allow thermal and seismic movement, and the central bracket’s web is torsionally flexible and ductile enough to allow the connecting struts to move with the thermal movements of the bridge.

Upon the Arun Bridge’s opening, REIDsteel were delighted to see it busy with vehicles and local people.
It is pleasing to know that our bridge has created new access for people to enact businesses, go to schools, connect with friends and family and be able to make contact with resources leading to better opportunities.
Engineering is the use of materials and techniques to improve the lot of the human race; exemplified by this sort of work.

Designed by Peter Mrozinski and drawn by Kevin Williams.

Bridging in Nepal

As taken from the Royal Engineer’s Journal, this articles discusses the contstruction of a bridge in Nepal.  Click to read the article Bridging in Nepal.