Tag Archives: Mauritius

Something a Little Different

REIDsteel have designed and supplied many steel churches and cathedrals in Africa and the Caribbean. In Tanzania, a REIDsteel church was blessed by our local reverend from Christchurch Priory and in Antigua we constructed the church which their Labour Party Leader was recently wed in.

Having built many steel structures in Mauritius, which you can read about here, REIDsteel were only too pleased to supply the Societe du Saintesprite et Ducoeur de Marie (Society of the Holy Spirit and The Sacred Heart Of Mary) a new feature of their shrine dedicated to Père Laval.

Just a short distance from Port Louis, at Sainte Croix stands the church and subsequent shrine and museum of the Mauritanian saint, Père Laval.  He arrived as a missionary in 1841 and is credited with converting 67,000 people to Christianity during his 23 years in Mauritius. After his death in 1864, his grave at the Sainte Croix church became a place of pilgrimage due to his life work helping the poor and the sick.

Père Laval was beatified in 1979 and people from around the world still make the pilgrimage to Sainte Croix every year on the anniversary of his death, the 7th and 8th September. He remains an important and popular figure to Mauritians of all religions.

In 1968, a modern church was built to replace the one that Père Laval would have preached from. Along with this renewal was the modernisation of Père Laval’s final resting place. A stone sarcophagus within a spacious vault contains the remains of Père Laval. REIDsteel’s specially designed and fabricated steel lantern and cross will be placed above this. We are proud to be part of this national monument that will visited by millions of pilgrims in the many years to come.

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.