The Hanger Street Pedestrian Bridge caught the judges’ attention from both an engineering and architectural point of view. They said that a closer look at the bridge revealed not only excellent engineering and workmanship but also that ‘extra thought had gone into designing a beautiful bridge for daily commuters in an inner city area’.

This tapering steel-box-girder-spine bridge provides a crucial link for pedestrians between the Central Park Bus station and the newly constructed Mangaung Intermodal Public Transport Facility, which accommodates all of the city’s taxis. It also provides a safe passage for pedestrians trying to cross the busy Hanger Street, which serves as one of the arterial roads into Bloemfontein from the south. It also provides aesthetic upliftment to the downtown area and forms part of the rejuvenation of the Bloemfontein inner city area.

Aesthetic Appeal

“What is striking about the Hanger Street pedestrian bridge is its unexpected aesthetic appeal,” the judges said. “It is obvious that those involved in putting the bridge together spent much time and effort in delivering a pedestrian bridge that will not only get all who use it safely from one side of Hanger to the other but will also provide them with aesthetic appeal to enjoy while doing so.”

The bridge links up with the first floor of the existing bus station, from where the deck slopes upwards and turns toward the new taxi rank facility. This complex geometry in the deck had to be designed to accommodate the significant level difference between the adjacent building’s first-floor levels.

“While pedestrian bridges are often open, slender structures, the prerequisite for this bridge was to provide cover to pedestrians commuting between the transport facilities while still ensuring a transparent and safe enclosure. Custom-made 450x150mm rectangular hollow ribs were designed for aesthetic purposes, as well as to provide the framework for the roof and glazing panels,” said the project team.

The judges made special mention of this. “The structural solution for spanning the 62m over Hanger Street has been cleverly hidden in the boxed girder spine to which the composite walkway and rectangular hollow ribs have been fixed. The ribs, in turn, provide support to the roof and side cladding ensuring the protection of all pedestrians against the elements.”

Special LED lighting was installed on deck level, as well as into every second steel rib. These light units were recessed into the deck and frameworks in order to protect them against vandalism and theft.

The 150mm concrete deck is supported by the steel box girder via shear studs, as well as permanent shuttering.  The 51m3 of concrete deck ensures a more solid walking surface thereby adding to pedestrian comfort.

The bridge was fabricated in Omni Struct Nkosi’s workshop in Johannesburg. Its steel box girder spine, together with its steel fins and the bottom part of the frames, were welded together in their factory and the three major spans were delivered to site individually with the rest of the sections. These main components were then lifted into position and the remainder of the structure welded on site. All site welds had to undergo non-destructive testing to ensure the quality of workmanship.

The judges noted how, at every stage, the well-being of pedestrians was taken into account. “Great care has been taken to allow for easy access to the bridge with escalators provided on one end. The Hanger Street pedestrian bridge is certainly a great endeavor to avoid pedestrian deaths on a very busy thoroughfare, and doing it in steel has proven most effective,” they concluded.

PROJECT TEAM

Developer/ Owner: Mangaung Metro Municipality – Bloemfontein
Architect: Incline Architects
Structural Engineer: Vela VKE (Part of the SMEC group)
Quantity Surveyor: Rubiquant; Limco QS Arbitration & Project Management
Project Manager: Incline/Vela VKE JV
Main Contractor: RSI Intermodal Construction
Steelwork Contractor/s: Omni Struct Nkosi
Detailers/ Detailing Company: Draftline