Local construction company, Nthane Brothers has won a massive M511 million bridge construction contract in a joint venture with South African company, Concor Construction.
The joint venture, which also features Post Tensioning and Structural Solutions (Pty) Ltd (both from South Africa) and Bridge Joints and Rehabilitation Contractors (Pty) Ltd (from Lesotho) as sub-contractors, will build two major bridges as part of the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) implementation, currently underway.
Nthane Brothers is no stranger to winning Polihali contracts, having won the largest M9.2 billion single contract under LWHP II to construct the Polihali Transfer Tunnel under the Kopano Ke Matla Joint Venture in November 2022.
The construction company also won a M235 million contract to construct the Polihali north access road in a joint venture with Sinohydro in 2018.
â€œThe Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) completed the construction procurement for the remaining two major bridges to be built under Phase II in late August, awarding the M511 500 000 contract to the Concor-Nthane Brothers M&K Bridges Joint Venture,â€ LHDA said this week.
The LHDA said work on the lucrative contract commenced in August this year, and the two bridges across the Mabunyaneng and Khubelu rivers are expected to be completed by the end of October 2025
The Khubelu Bridge will be approximately 270 metres long with nine 30m spans and two abutments, while the Mabunyaneng Bridge will be approximately 120m in length, and has four 30m spans and two abutments. The bridges will both be 13.55 metres wide.
The construction contract of the biggest of the three bridges â€“ the Senqu Bridge â€“ was awarded in late 2022, LHDA said.
It said the construction of temporary site facilities at Senqu Bridge is progressing well, and excavations have started for the massive pier and abutment foundations necessary to support the 825m long and 90m high bridge.
â€œThe three major bridges will provide access to Mokhotlong town across the reservoir even at full supply and retain connectivity to the national road network along the A1, the main road between the Mokhotlong district in the mountainous north-east of the country and the capital, Maseru.
â€œThe impounding of the Polihali reservoir will submerge existing roads and tracks, affecting communities in the valleys and tributary catchments of the Senqu, Khubelu, Mokhotlong, Moremoholo and Sehonghong rivers. The major bridges along with a network of feeder roads and the main access roads to the project area all contribute towards minimising this disruption and help to restore community access to healthcare facilities, schools, shops and markets,â€ said Gerard Mokone, Manager of the LHDAâ€™s Polihali Branch.
He said the design of the Khubelu and Mabunyaneng bridges has taken into consideration the challenging, high-altitude construction conditions and the Mokhotlong highlandsâ€™ long, cold and harsh winter conditions.
LWHP Phase II Divisional Manager Ntsoli Maiketso, said the three bridges will not only form part of the safe and efficient road infrastructure network constructed under Phase II, but will be a major tourist attraction contributing to long-term benefits in stimulating sustainable economic growth.