Victoria Falls bridge set to last another 100 years
by Ntando Sibanda
THE Victoria Falls Bridge, situated close to one of the country’s world-renowned tourist attractions, is in a position to last a hundred more years if its custodians stick to maintenance recommendations, an official has said.
In an interview with Sunday Business on Wednesday last week, the Emerged Railway Properties’ engineer, Mr Herbert Dvinotyiwei, noted that when the bridge turned a hundred years old a few years back, they sought services of consultants who made recommendations which if followed it can last for 100 more years.
“A few years back when the bridge turned 100 years old, we made consultations with our consultants and they gave us recommendations and said if we follow them well, it can last for the next 100 years,” he said.
Mr Dvinotyiwei said the recommendations include surface treatment of the steel, replacement of the footway, the roadway and the railway decks, the installation of concrete barriers, traffic lights, the drainage system and the foundation of the maintenance walkway.
He said they have, however, managed to go through some of the recommendations except for the replacement of the three decks that will cost more than US$1,9 million.
“So far we have installed the concrete barriers and done the other recommendations but we are left with the replacement of the railway deck which will cost close to US$800 000, that of the footway deck costing US$300 000 and the roadway deck which will also cost US$800 000,” he said.
Mr Dvinotyiwei said as from September until March next year, they will surface treat the steel on the bridge. They are painting the bridge to fight corrosion.
“As from September this year, we have been busy with the surface treatment of the steel whereby we are painting them so as to fend off corrosion. This will take up to March next year when the showers intensify making it impossible to paint and then we will resume again around July,” he said.
Mr Dvinotyiwei said they are appealing to all stakeholders to come forward and assist in the maintenance of the bridge as it benefits all of them.
“This is an appeal to say look, this is an asset that helps both you and us so if there is a way you can assist please come forward and do so,” he said.