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No bridge is too far or too high for Skyriders

Skyriders Access Specialists (Pty) Ltd. has assisted with providing temporary access services for the rehabilitation of the Crocodile River Bridge for main contractor Stefanutti Stocks.

The eight-span bridge over the Crocodile River near Nelspruit had to be jacked in order to replace the old bearings with 80 elastomeric bearings. Stefanutti Stock’s in-house Technical Department designed the bridge-jacking method statement, in conjunction with the site team, while the Civils Division undertook this specialist part of the project.

Prior to the bridge-jacking operation itself, Skyriders was required to assist with the installation of access platforms around the piers. This was followed by installation of the jacking brackets themselves. Only one span could be jacked at a time, whereupon the bridge bearings were replaced, enabling the team to move onto the next span.

This forms part of a larger rehabilitation project encompassing eight bridges and seven culverts along the 400 km stretch of the N4 freeway between Pretoria and Nelspruit for main client the Trans African Concession (Pty) Ltd. (TRAC).


Skyriders’ technicians used rope access to abseil from the bridge to erect the access platforms

Skyriders Marketing Manager Mike Zinn explains that unstable ground conditions under the Crocodile River bridge meant that technicians had to deploy rope access to abseil from the structure itself in order to erect the access platforms, as opposed to the more traditional ground-up approach.

An eight-person team, under the supervision of a Level 3 rope-access technician, oversaw the project, which was complicated by the fact that the bridge remained ‘live’ during the operation. “We have worked with Stefanutti Stocks before on power-station maintenance projects, which made us a logical choice for this specialist undertaking,” Zinn explains.

Skyriders offers a variety of rope-access aided services to numerous industries, such as power generation, petrochemical, mining, heavy industry and facilities management. Current services include non-destructive testing (NDT) and inspection, concrete inspection, maintenance and repairs, application of coating systems, working-at-height safety systems, welding, and confined-space.

About Skyriders
Skyriders (Pty) Ltd., established in 1998, is a leader in the South African rope-access industry, providing cost- and time-saving solutions to clients in the power generation and petrochemical industries requiring rope access aided inspection, NDT, and maintenance work to be conducted in difficult-to-reach, high-up locations.
Skyriders Contact
Mike Zinn
Skyriders Marketing Manager
Phone: (011) 312-1418
Email: mike@ropeaccess.co.za
Web: www.ropeaccess.co.za

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