The new multi-million rand landmark Cosmo Mall Pedestrian Bridge, developed by the owners and developers of the mall, Bentel Group, opened to the public late last month (December) just ahead of peak festive season trading.
At 410 metres long, the new pedestrian walkway and bridge over the busy Malibongwe Drive, is strategically located at the entrance to bustling Cosmo City. It will not only give Cosmo City residents and visitors safe and easy pedestrian access to the trendy new 22000sqm Cosmo Mall, but represents a major private sector investment in public infrastructure by Bentel Group.
“We are proud to have made this further investment in Cosmo City, which is not just a public facility, but has been strikingly designed and will be user-friendly,” says Bentel Group Executive Chairman, Aubrey Bentel.
“Its design was aimed at creating a landmark structure in the community that gets used and also inspires civic pride. This multi-million rand investment comes just more than a year since we opened the R270m Cosmo Mall in September 2014. The mall has more than 70 retail stores, eateries and service outlets and has brought quality shopping to the Cosmo City community,” adds Bentel.
The Cosmo Mall Pedestrian Bridge and walkway will serve the main pedestrian entrance into the new mall and
Bentel forecast it would result in more than 400,000 shoppers visiting the mall in December alone.
Bentel comments: “In designing and constructing the bridge, we used a highly skilled professional team comprising of WSP Consulting Civil & Structural Engineers, Rob Bray Architects, Quad Africa Electrical Engineers and contractors Tri-Star and Ferro Eleganza. An integral part of our brief to the professional team was to create a very user friendly bridge structure, with a gradual incline to make it suitable for wheelchairs access.”
The bridge design and the ‘forked’ supports were derived from the iconic thorn tree that is symbolic of the African experience, the Acacia Tree. According to Rob Bray: “Endemic to only Africa, it speaks of a great continent that is home to its many peoples. Located at the tourist gateway and the great new residential node of Cosmo City, it symbolically links the people with their roots. Designed to flow in the direction of travel, the walkway and bridge deck curves like a path through the bush, providing pedestrians with an uninterrupted walkway over the traffic below”.
He adds: “We managed to achieve this, partially due to the topographical composition of the land in the area, in addition to making use of an extended arc design. This resulted in the gradual elevation of the structural incline. The bridge, which is illuminated at night, was designed to have a positive impact on the landscape and is set to become a treasured landmark in Cosmo City.”
The bridge construction featured some innovative technology:
- The bridge was manufactured in separate sections in the Ferro Eleganza factory, transported to site and then assembled on site. The final two sections, to be lifted across Malibongwe Drive were however assembled at the factory and then transported to site.
- The structure is a multi-span structural steel pedestrian bridge on concrete columns with a composite concrete deck. The expected design life is 100 years.
- The bridge is made up of steel U-shaped steelwork girders spanning between concrete columns. The girders are made up from H-sections, tubular-sections and angle-sections welded and bolted together.
- The bridge is supported by reinforced concrete pad foundations using an allowable ground bearing pressure of 300 kPa.
- The actual bridge section has 8 spans and a total length of 219m. The 38m spans are further supported by steel stays approximately 11m from the column supports. The stays are in turn supported by a V-shaped steel column structure.
- The steelwork U-shaped girders are support by a combination of concrete columns and shaped concrete beams. The steelwork will transfer all forces directly onto the concrete through a purpose made sliding bearing to allow for movement due to expansion of the steelwork and concrete deck.
- The structure is hot dipped galvanised. Based on the class C2 category of atmospheric corrosively, no maintenance to the steelwork should be required for the duration of the design life.
- Should any routine inspections be required, about 70% of the steelwork will be able to be inspected directly from the bridge deck. The soffit of the bridge and the supporting steelwork columns over will have to be inspected by means of hydraulic lifting equipment.
- Durability, quality and finishes have all been specified to SANS 1200 standards.