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Expansion project: ORT Gautrain Station

Online since 3.11.2015 • Filed under Advertorial • From Issue 16 page(s) 63-64
Expansion project:  ORT Gautrain Station

Turner & Townsend has been appointed as the project manager

for OR Tambo Gautrain Station expansion.

Recently the Gauteng MEC for Roads & Transport, Dr Ismail Vadi, announced that the Gautrain Station platforms at OR Tambo (ORT) International Airport would be expanded. Subject to a go ahead being  given to a rolling stock expansion, future passengers would be enabled to embark or disembark from a full four-car train set. The current configuration is limited to two cars. The Gautrain celebrated its fifth year in operation in June, and it has now been announced that planning includes the launch of a R3-billion rolling-stock expansion programme aimed at relieving congestion on its trains. So hopefully longer trains will be in operation in the not too distant future.

With due processes finalised, global construction and management consultants Turner & Townsend has been appointed by Bombela Concession Company as project manager to manage the prestigious ORT turnkey expansion project. The duration of the  construction project is approximately 12 months with anticipated completion by mid-2016. Bombela says the expansion of the Gautrain Station platform at the ORT International Station will allow the current horizontal two-car system for the airport line to be increased to at least four rail cars. The airport platform extension works will inevitably increase system capacity and forms part of a medium- to long-term plan to attract more users onto the Gautrain System.

Making use of pre-cast elements

Noluthando Molao, associate director of Turner & Townsend, says construction itself will be carried out with pre-cast elements and by establishing a storage area for materials close by to minimise activity on site. An interesting aspect of the project is that the tower crane to be used on site is one of the biggest in the country, and can lift 32 tons at a radius of 27.8m and can pick up a maximum load of 20.6 tons at a radius of 40m. Initially procured for the Medupi Power Station, the crane will be relocated to the ORT construction site. ‘One of the key challenges of the project is that the trains must be fully operational at all times to ensure there is no disruption to the Gautrain service. Coupled with this, the construction is being carried out at approximately 18m above ground level, with the access road directly beneath the construction site needing to remain operational as an airport entry point. What makes the construction more challenging is that the crane can only operate from one side of the viaduct structure and safety will be a key priority. ‘Furthermore, the close proximity of the City Lodge parking facility, right next to the construction site, presents another challenge. Noise and dust will be minimised with most of the work being completed off site and the use of acoustic boards, while construction will only be undertaken during specific times as agreed. ‘Given the issue of cable theft, the safety and security management systems require that the highest security measures are in place at all times,’ Molao explains. The design and construction in terms of the project incorporates a number of aspects that include extending the existing roof canopy, and – with the use of pre-cast concrete slabs – horizontally increasing either side of the platform, as well as extending the platform length by 55m. In addition, the concrete parapet wall will be extended and two fire escape towers will be constructed. Adds Molao: ‘Not surprisingly, the contractor tender process had a technical requirement for a grading of nine, which is the highest level according to the Construction Industry Development Board. A BEE Level 3 minimum requirement was also stipulated and the successful contractor, Stefanutti Stocks, will have to achieve 80% of the scorecard for technical criteria. Turner & Townsend has considerable experience in rail and other major transport programmes, having worked on a number of projects with Intersite Asset Investments, a subsidiary of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). The ORT Station platform expansion is one of

a series of projects that Turner & Townsend has recently been involved in with Bombela. These include the extension of Gautrain parkades, parking garages and additional parking at Midrand and Rhodesfield Gautrain Stations.


At King Shaka International Airport in KwaZulu- Natal, Turner & Townsend was involved as bid manager, as well as programme manager and project manager for the pre- and post-contract works for this modern ‘greenfield’ development. It also provided procurement advice and training to the building and civil contractor. Globally, and with a network of 90 offices, Turner & Townsend has an extensive track record in major projects, and more specifically in the air sector having helped formulate and implement the agreement for the build of British Airways’ Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport (the biggest free-standing structure in the UK), and playing an integral role in bringing the project in on time and on budget. Turner & Townsend has also been involved in providing master planning, procurement strategy and risk management services for the development of the new three-runway system at Hong Kong International Airport and delivering cost estimating services, scheduling and risk management for the expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport.


Turner & Townsend, Africa

Jacques Jacobs, Director of Project


C +27 82 334 2148

Bombela Concession Company

T + 27 11 446 6800


Issue 16

Issue 16

November 2015

This article was featured on page 63-64 of
To Build Magazine Issue 16.

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