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The V&A Swingbridge (South Africa): a unique product responding to multiple needs
This Webinar is being organised by the South African National Group of IABSE.

The moving bridges within the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa, are a recognised part of its identity and a memorable part of any visitor’s experience. One of its moving footbridges, a cable stayed swing bridge was recently replaced with a new wider swing bridge. The new 4 m wide bridge doubles the previous crossing’s capacity and improves access across the cut to the expanding Clock Tower Precinct.

Moving bridges are an integration of many functional design requirements and, in the V&A, important experiences and place-makers for visitors. This paper tells the story of how, from that integration of needs, opportunities created the form of the new bridge and dictated how it was built.

The new footbridge is cable-stayed with a single plane of four locked coil cables connecting to a central, upstand spine beam. The spine beam is 500 mm wide and has a total depth of 800 mm, but only 470 mm protrudes above the top of the deck. The reclining pylon is in the continuity of the main central beam and its stiffness transfers the cable loads into the piled substructure. The superstructure rotates on a 3550 mm diameter, internally geared, three-row roller slew bearing that is driven by four hydraulic motors with a maximum output torque of 42 kNm each.

The new footbridge performs to the same high standards of its predecessor, opening and closing up to sixty times a day, carrying up to 2.4 million people per year. The need to maintain access across the cut meant it was installed and commissioned within one month of the removal of the previous bridge.

Aug 19, 2022 02:00 PM in Zurich

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Maja Wilson
Section Manager, SMEC South Africa
Maja Wilson, a Section Manager with SMEC South Africa in Cape Town, is a Chartered Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, London and registered as a Professional Engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa. She has specialized in bridge and building design with fourteen years of experience. Maja holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from the University of Cape Town, graduating with first class honours. Maja started her career with COWI in London, before returning home to Cape Town and joining SMEC. She has been involved in the design of many road, rail and pedestrian bridge types including cable stay, suspension, stress ribbon, steel and concrete box girder, and prestressed concrete. She has international experience, having designed bridges in England, Australia, South Africa, The Philippines, Namibia, and Saudi Arabia.
Prof. Pierre van der Spuy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Moderator, Chair of IABSE's South African National Group