Effective communication between the concurrent projects that are building the Mbombela Stadium and the road and infrastructure upgrading around it, is proving to be a challenge for contractors says engineering consultantants WSP SA Civil and Structural Engineers director Patrick Riley.

WSP has been contracted by the Mbombela local municipality for the design and construction supervision of the Mataffin precinct road access system, and the Mataffin public transport rank and stadium precinct boulevard.

The projects, valued at R140-million, are in preparation for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

The access roads, transport rank and pedestrian boulevard are located within the proposed Mataffin township, about 4 km west of the Nelspruit CBD and on the south side of the existing N4 highway.

The project started as scheduled at the beginning of August. Riley says the contractor is on site, and a significant challenge is the accommodation of existing services, such as the irrigation pipes of a farm property on the project. Civil engineering contractors Roadcrete Africa Joint Venture is currently busy working around this challenge. The project roads cross wetlands, and the environmental impacts of the upgrading have to be factored into the project, he says.

The project encompasses a surfaced road network of about 5 km, a transport rank and a pedestrian boulevard. Once completed, the project will provide road access from the N4 to the stadium precinct, a perimeter road to the stadium, and access to parking areas and facilities. This will be the first stage of the Mataffin township road network development.

The main access routes from the N4 highway to the Mbombela Stadium will serve as arterial routes within the future Mataffin road network. The ring road around the stadium will provide access to the different facilities in and around the stadium. Four of the roads will be two-lane roadways, providing for one lane in each direction. The fifth road will consist of a four-lane divided roadway, with two lanes in each direction. The project will include the construction of five traffic circles at different intersections within the road network.

WSP will also design and supervise the construction of a transport rank that will be located on the southern side of the Mbombela Stadium. The rank will incorporate pick-up and drop-off facilities for buses and minibuses. The rank will be linked to the Mbombela Stadium by a pedestrian boulevard. The location of the transport rank will benefit stadium spectators as well as the Mataffin community.

Riley adds that, “The success of the 2010 World Cup will depend to a large extent on transport access to and from the different stadiums. It is anticipated that some 45 000 spectators will use public transport, shuttle services and passenger cars to reach Mbombela Stadium, so the surrounding road infrastructure needs to be extensively upgraded to accommodate the expected numbers.”

The professional team on the project includes architects and design consultants Artech Architects and Nelspruit-based CVG quantity surveyors. Sports stadium designers Platinum Sports Consulting and consulting engineering company Delca Systems are responsible for the stadium precinct and transportation project management roles respectively.

Riley says the project is on schedule for completion by January 2010.

Upon completion, the road network and transport rank will usher in infrastructure development and services for the previously isolated rural residential community of Mataffin.

PUBLICATION: Engineering News
AUTHOR: Fatima Gabru
DATED: 10th October 2008