24. June 2019

The Maputo-Katembe bridge wins FULTON Award 2019 – A distinction from the Concrete Society of Southern Africa

The Maputo-Katembe bridge is the longest suspension bridge of Africa and the new landmark of Mozambique

Prof. Mark Alexander confers the FULTON Award 2019 to Fan Zemin (CRBC) and Dean Swanepoel (GAUFF engineering) for the Maputo-Katembe Bridge © Concrete Society of Southern Africa

A total of 340.000 m³ of concrete were integrated in the bridge

The winning team from left: Victor Chen (CRBC), Fan Zemin (CRBC), Basilio Nzunga (EDMS). Lawrence Greene (GAUFF Engineering) and Dean Swanepoel (GAUFF Engineering)

Together with the China Road and Bridge Corporation, GAUFF Engineering has won the Fulton Award 2019 for the Maputo-Katembe Bridge. This award is the highest and most renowned distinction for structures and recent developments in concrete building in the sub-Saharan countries and is awarded by the “Concrete Society of South Africa” every other year. The Maputo-Katembe bridge consists mainly of concrete, whereby the roadway has been built out of prefabricated steel segments.

The award ceremony took place on June 8th , 2019 in Drakensberg, South Africa. The bridge won in the category “”Infrastructure projects at a value of over 100 million Rand”. The valuation focused on the construction material concrete, its properties, processing and its visual appearance, the highest priority being the sustainability of the concrete. During the construction of the bridge, which is designed for an operating lifetime of 100 years, more than 340.000 m³ of concrete were used, this is equivalent to the volume of 5.022 big cargo containers (40 feet). In order to ensure a consistent high quality of the concrete during the whole construction period, around 51.000 test cubes made of concrete were poured and evaluated. Serving as a less expensive substitute for cement, up to 40 % of fly ashes from South African power plants have been used, which contributed essentially to the high durability of the finished concrete and its resource-friendly production on top of it.

In addition to the special characteristics of the concrete, the bridge presents also remarkable new features, for example the first poured asphalt for a bridge made of welded steel segments in Africa, a dehumidification system working around the clock to prevent corrosion at the supporting ropes of the suspension bridge as well as one of the most difficult cantilever bridges with a big curvature and lateral inclination.

The award has been preceded by an extensive application and selection procedure. Therefore, each construction site of the contest participants has been visited and assessed from three renowned experts. Already in 2017, the project team was granted a FULTON Award for the development of this innovative concrete. The Maputo Katembe Bridge is the only project that has been awarded two years in a row in the whole history of the FULTON Award.