The Kruger National Park's (KNP) Road Construction team won the Vintage Category of the Armco Multiplate and Superspan Structures Awards this month. This comes in recognition of Kruger's application of tehnologically sound structures and systems in its road network.
Many of the culverts that run underneath the KNP's 906km of tar and 1 662km of gravel roads were constructed with corrugated steel, all of which were hot dip s, during the park's road construction programme during the 1960s, ‘70s and early ‘80s.
The KNP's road construction programme was one of the first major construction programmes to use this technique and approximately 800 tons of steel were used. Due to the performance and 25 – 40 year longevity of the method, other uses such as fencing, steel water tanks and communication towers have been identified and put into practice.
"We are very proud of this achievement as it shows that the KNP is being recognised for achievements on other fronts, not just in our core functions of tourism, conservation and community relations," said Mr Blake Schraader, the KNP's HOD for Technical Services.
The design for many of the culverts originates from Armco Canada and was improved by adding a bitumen coating between the hot dip galvanised surface and the soil. This should ensure that most of these culverts continue to give the KNP good service.
"This achievement should be attributed to all the management and staff of the KNP's roads department. In particular, Mr Soekie Schoeman who has since moved on to become a project manager and many others who have retired or moved forward in their respective careers but they should nevertheless receive credit for this achievement," concluded Mr Schraader.