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INSPECTION OF ZAMBIAN BRIDGES AND RELATED STRUCTURES

We were appointed by Kiran & Musonda Associates to validate the Zambian Road Development Agency’s inventory of bridges and related structures, as well as to inspect and appraise their condition.

The bridge inspection project harnesses our extensive experience working on various bridge structures, including rail, river, road and utility services.

The project encompasses Zambia’s entire core road network, counting all trunk, main, district, feeder and urban roads.

This assignment involves about 4 000 structures, including the rubble masonry crossings that were constructed as early as the 1920s. The average life of bridges serving the core road network is about 40 years.

However, in 2012, the RDA embarked on a substantial programme to expand the road network and new bridges were built.

The first component of the project entailed locating all of the structures on the new database to verify and update this information where necessary. This includes corroborating the type of structures and their exact global-positioning co-ordinates on the country’s core road network.

The professional engineers then inspect the condition of the bridges, recording and photographing all structural defects, as well as rating the urgency of the remedial action.

The depth of information contained in the new database will allow the RDA to better motivate the funding that it requires from the Zambian authorities to implement a pro-active bridge maintenance programme.