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Hydro-demolition used in structural repairs to bridges

Online since 29.10.2017 • Filed under Professions - Engineering • From Issue 22 page(s) 55
Hydro-demolition used in structural repairs to bridges

Major structural repairs to the M1 North highway bridges over Oxford and Federation Roads in Johannesburg were recently completed. The extended project included the complete rehabilitation of the bridges in Rosebank, involving major structural repairs. Hydro-demolition technology was used to remove deteriorated concrete from the structures without any damage to existing steel reinforcement.


The project was commissioned by WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd, in partnership with the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited.


The removal of superfluous concrete in preparation was made possible through hydro-demolition, which was successfully undertaken by Total Blasting, South Africa’s leading water jetting solutions company.


‘Hydro-demolition comprises the use of high pressure pumps, water and robotics to break down and remove cement-based materials on site. It is a special demolition technique that employs high volume. It can target the specific demolition area with relative precision, which supports a cleaner demolition site. Unlike conventional demolition methods like jackhammering, hydro-demolition does not damage the rebar or surrounding structure,’ explains Total Blasting Director, Bradley Storer.


Challenges to the hydro-demolition aspect of the project included site access, which was limited due to the nature of the roadworks and construction as well as channelling sufficient water to site to feed the pumps, which was managed by using multiple road tankers to transport the water.


Technology supplied by Total Blasting for this project was specifically developed for concrete demolition and was imported from Europe and the USA. The bridge rehabilitation project was completed within deadline and a total of three Total Blasting employees, with specialised skills in water jetting and hydro-demolition, were deployed to this project for its duration.


‘Hydro-demolition is in its infancy in Africa; the success of this project does not only represent a wellrespected client that is highly satisfied with the work we have done, but opens up opportunities for hydrodemolition and water jetting in the Southern African concrete repair sector,’ Storer concludes, adding that his company has a fully-fledged workshop geared to manufacture all types of water jetting pumps and to do repairs and maintenance on pumps and other water jetting associated equipment.


Total Blasting

T +27 (0)11 452 3292

M +27 (0)79 495 3712



Issue 22

Issue 22

November 2017

This article was featured on page 55 of
To Build Magazine Issue 22.

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