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Hatch wins award for project making a positive impact on the local community

Hatch has won an award in the Consulting Engineers South Africa Aon Engineering Excellence Awards, winning in the Projects with a Value Less than R50 Million category for the Tugela River Pedestrian Bridge project. The project is an example of how a community’s quality of life and future possibilities can be significantly improved through the successful partnership between government and private enterprises.

The new Tugela River Pedestrian Bridge is a landmark structure that forms part of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Transport’s pedestrian bridge programme, which seeks to redress past imbalances to historically impoverished communities by implementing infrastructure that will improve their quality of life. 

Prior to the construction of the bridge, community members crossed the 150-m-wide Tugela River to access local schools and amenities by removing all clothing, and wading across the river with their valuables held over their head in a bucket. The crossing put them at risk of being swept away by the current, or attacked by crocodiles.

“We’re proud to have been a part of such an important project for the local Maphumulo community. It’s rewarding when we can put our technical expertise to work on projects that bring about real, positive change for a community,” said Sarisha Harrychund, engineer and project manager.

The Tugela River Pedestrian Bridge is the first steel pedestrian suspension bridge in the isolated Maphumulo district of KZN. The impressive structure has an overall length of 180 m, with towers that are nearly 27 m high.

The project was designed and supervised by Hatch, which oversaw the full project lifecycle, from feasibility and preliminary studies to detailed design, construction support and, finally, to the project's close-out.

The project previously received a Special Mention in the Professional Services category at the 2017 Construction World Best Projects Awards.