CONSTRUCTION UPDATE – 28 FEBRUARY 2009

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 in Construction Update - 2009, Construction Updates

A) SOUTHERN SECTION

1. Underground section

PARK STATION

The station base slab at rail level is substantially complete and construction of platform walls has commenced. The concourse slab is well advanced and construction of the top slab is in progress.

JOHANNESBURG PARK STATION, DIAMOND CUTTER

PARK STATION TUNNEL SHAFT

Tunnelling activities at Park Station continued, with the single tunnel excavation towards the north reaching approximately 1 064 metres by the end of February 2009.

Pile cap construction on the western side of the parkade structure that will be constructed above the station is ongoing.

EMERGENCY ACCESS SHAFT E1 (HILLBROW)

Shaft E1 works have commenced, with construction of the shaft collar at ground level complete. Shaft sinking works will commence in early March.

The single-track rail tunnel between Park Station and Sandton Station will feature seven emergency access shafts. These shafts will provide emergency services personnel access to the tunnels below. At the bottom of certain of these shafts there will be safe havens where passengers can gather in case of an emergency.

EMERGENCY ACCESS SHAFT E2 (THE WILDS, HOUGHTON)

At Shaft E2, where excavation of the 236 metre adit is complete, tunnelling from the end of this connecting passage is advancing along the main tunnel route in both southerly and northerly directions. The one tunnel heads south towards Park Station, while the other tunnel heads north towards Rosebank Station. Towards Park Station, excavation has advanced 156 metres and towards the TBM tunnel, excavation has reached 91 metres.

EMERGENCY ACCESS SHAFT E3 (RIVIERA)

Vertical excavation of this shaft is complete to its final depth of 21 metres.  Excavation of the two adits (cross passages) linking the bottom of the shaft to the main single-track rail tunnel, which will provide access for emergency services personnel, is also complete and breakthrough of both of these connecting adits to the TBM tunnel was achieved in November 2008.  The final shaft lining has now been completed. Being a shallow shaft with direct access to the surface, there is no safe haven necessary at the bottom of this shaft.

EMERGENCY ACCESS SHAFT E4 (HOUGHTON)

At Shaft E4, final lining of this 16 metre deep shaft is complete and excavation of the two connecting adits is also approaching completion. Like E3, being a shallow shaft with direct access to the surface, there is no safe haven necessary at the bottom of this shaft.

ROSEBANK STATION

ROSEBANK STATION, INSIDE THE STATION BOX

ROSEBANK STATION, CUT AND COVER, CASTING OF THE
CASTELLATED PERIMETER WALLS

At Rosebank Station, casting of the roof slab is ongoing, approximately 80% of the concourse slab is cast and, at rail level, platform construction is in progress. Construction of the cut and cover box section linking the station to the start of the drill and blast tunnel has commenced.

TUNNEL BREAKTHROUGH BETWEEN THE TUNNEL FROM ROSEBANK
STATION AND SANDTON STATION

ROSEBANK STATION, DISMANTLING OF THE TBM, TBM TUNNEL

Excavation of the 745 metre long single-track drill and blast rail tunnel between the northern end of Rosebank Station and Emergency Access Shaft E5 was successfully completed during the month, with “breakthrough” achieved on 13 February 2009.

The Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) successfully completed the excavation of the single-track rail tunnel towards Shaft E2 on 31 January 2009, with a cumulative length of tunnel bored of 2 885 metres.  Dismantling of the TBM was commenced immediately thereafter and will be completed during the next few weeks. Only the 12 metre long outer steel shield at the front end of the machine will remain where it is in the tunnel and this will be covered with a permanent shotcrete lining. The back up system comprising 13 gantry trailers, mechanical and electrical components and support equipment will be recovered and reconditioned for use on other tunnelling projects.

EMERGENCY ACCESS SHAFT E5 (DUNKELD, ROSEBANK)

Tunnelling towards Sandton Station – the only section of tunnel being excavated from this shaft – has progressed to 1 609 metres.  Excavation of the remaining portion of the safe haven chamber at the bottom of this shaft was completed in parallel with excavation of the last section of the tunnel from Rosebank.

The tunnel towards Sandton has advanced well past the intersection point where the safe haven for Emergency Access Shaft E6 is now being excavated.

EMERGENCY ACCESS SHAFT E6 (ILLOVO)

This shaft is being constructed using a “raise boring” methodology, which entails drilling a pilot hole downwards and then boring a large diameter shaft from the bottom up towards the surface. The shaft collar at ground level was cast during February and the raise boring machine arrived on site in early March. Boring of this shaft is currently in progress.

EMERGENCY ACCESS SHAFT E 7 (WESTERN SIDE OF RIVONIA ROAD, SANDTON)

Shaft E7 is located on the western side of Rivonia Road, opposite ‘The Inandas’ townhouse complex. Excavation of this shaft is approaching its final depth of 69 metres and shaft lining was completed during February. Excavation of the connecting adit from the bottom of this shaft to the main rail tunnel will commence shortly.

SANDTON STATION

SANDTON STATION, CONSTRUCTION OF THE CASTELLATED
PERIMETER WALLS

SANDTON STATION, THREE LEVEL UNDERGROUND PARKADE

Underground station construction works are ongoing in the cavern section between the south and north shafts, as well as within the shafts themselves.

Construction of Sandton Station’s three level underground parkade is progressing apace, with the multiple parking decks clearly visible from the surrounding buildings. Excavation for the car park is largely complete. Piling, foundations, column construction and casting of the suspended slabs of the parkade structure are ongoing.

The tunnel being excavated from the southern end of the Station towards Rosebank has progressed to 663 metres.

MUSHROOM FARM PARK CONSTRUCTION SHAFT

Tunnel excavations from Mushroom Farm Park are complete. Continuous lengths of tunnel now extend from the south of Sandton Station, through Mushroom Farm Park and all the way to the portal at Marlboro.

Casting of invert slabs, precast walkway installation and construction of the partition wall towards Marlboro are ongoing.

MARLBORO PORTAL

Excavation of the 4 200 metre long tunnel between Marlboro Portal and Mushroom Farm Park has been completed.

Inside the Marlboro Portal tunnel, the final lining is being applied to the tunnel walls. Construction of the invert slab to support the railway tracks continued. Installation of the precast concrete walkways, which also serve as service ducts for the numerous services required within the completed tunnel, continued. Construction of the centre wall to separate the two sets of tracks inside the tunnel is ongoing. Construction of the cut & cover structure adjoining the portal is nearing completion.

2. Surface alignment

VIADUCTS 1A AND 11 OVER JUKSKEI RIVER AND EAST BANK ROAD

At Viaducts 1a and 11 crossing the Jukskei River and East Bank Drive, finishing works are in progress.

Between Marlboro Portal and this pair of viaducts, reinforced earth retaining walls, earthworks, culvert inlets and the cross-over structure are approaching completion.

Construction of the three Zinnia Road bridges is well advanced, with all M-beams in place and deck construction in progress.

MARLBORO STATION

MARLBORO STATION, PARKADE

MARLBORO STATION, CONCOURSE, PLATFORM AND
OVER-PLATFORM LINK STRUCTURE WORKS

At Marlboro Station, the parkade concrete structure, comprising a semi-basement and first floor parking deck, is complete. The concourse, platform and over-platform link structure works are ongoing and erection of the structural steel concourse roof is well advanced.

Wet trades for the public facilities, technical rooms and administration offices are complete and mechanical and electrical (M&E) installation has commenced.

Construction of a series of underpasses, where the two pairs of railway tunnels cross below the N3 highway alongside the Marlboro Road Bridge just to the north of Marlboro Station, continued. Construction works at the N3 crossing should be complete by July 2009.

B) NORTHERN SECTION (Depot to Hatfield Station)

VIADUCT 2 OVER MODDERFONTEIN SPRUIT

Viaduct 2 and the two adjacent bridges over the future Frankenwald and Maxwell Roads are complete, with railway tracks in place across all three of these structures. Erection of noise barriers along this section of the alignment is also complete.

TRAIN AND BUS DEPOT

Construction of the Depot facilities, including both the Bus Depot and the Train Depot administration buildings, is substantially complete.  Installation of the Operations Control Centre equipment is in progress in the train depot administration building. This centre will be the heartbeat of Gautrain from where signalling, telecommunications, automatic fare collection, traction power and overhead distribution CCTV cameras and maintenance will be managed using world-class, high technology systems.

TRAIN WASHING BAY AT THE DEPOT

GAUTRAIN INSIDE THE WORKSHOP AT THE DEPOT

The train maintenance workshops and the other Depot facilities, including the washing bay for cleaning of the trains and a sand-filling facility, are also complete. The trains are equipped with a sand dispensing mechanism, which deposits a special type of sand onto the rails to improve traction between the wheels and the rail when necessary.

At the Train Depot, Gautrain’s 24 train sets will be maintained, serviced cleaned, and securely stabled overnight. The adjacent Bus Depot will perform a similar function for Gautrain’s dedicated fleet of 125 luxury buses.

RAIL YARD AND TRACKWORKS

All trackwork and the stabling sidings within the Depot area are complete, energized and operational.

The mainline test track section from north of Viaduct 3 to Viaduct 2 is complete and operational. With the civil construction works now substantially complete from behind Linbro Park to Dale Road in Midrand, tracklaying operations are now in progress along this entire section of the route.

The tracklaying operation is highly mechanised and utilises a wide range of specialised equipment such as works-trains, ballast wagons – which transport and place the crushed rock that forms the base below the sleepers – and equipment to transport and place rails and sleepers, ballast tampers and mobile flash butt welding equipment.

Rails for the Gautrain Trackwork have been manufactured in France and deliveries to site are ongoing. Gautrain will run on the international Standard Gauge, as opposed to the narrower Cape Gauge, which is currently the norm in South Africa.

At the flash butt welding facility, rails are welded into 216 metre long lengths, using high tech rail welding methods. The 216 metre long lengths of rail are then transported as required on specially equipped works-train wagons to the construction site as track laying progresses. Having been placed in position on concrete sleepers, these long lengths are joined together into a continuous length of rail, which eliminates the need for jointed gaps between rails.

RAIL CAR MANUFACTURING AND ASSEMBLY

Following a specialised construction and assembly process in Derby, UK, Gautrain’s first shipment of four completed rail cars arrived at the Depot in December 2008. The remaining eleven fully imported cars are being shipped to South Africa on a progressive basis, with further cars having been delivered in February and the remainder arriving during next few weeks.  The first four-car train set is being tested on the test track adjacent to the Depot.

Following a successful skills transfer programme, local technicians are busy with the assembly of Gautrain rail cars at the Union Carriage and Wagon Partnership in Nigel.

Gautrain’s rolling stock of 96 rail cars is based on the renowned Bombardier Electrostar series, which is used extensively in the U.K. The first 15 rail cars, plus the body shells for the complete fleet, have been manufactured at Bombardier Transportation’s facility in Derby.

The body shells and major components for the remaining 81 rail cars are being ‘flat packed’ into crates and shipped to South Africa. The first locally assembled four-car train set is expected to be completed before the end of June 2009.

PRECAST YARD

The temporary Precast Yard will be demolished during the latter part of this year, as the land is earmarked for the construction of the bus maintenance depot.

The Precast Yard is equipped to manufacture a variety of precast concrete elements. These include viaduct segments, bridge beams and parapets, tunnel walkway sections and noise barriers. From here, precast elements are transported to the various construction sites as needed. It is currently the largest precast facility in Africa.

VIADUCT 3 OVER ALLENDALE ROAD

North of the Depot, the K60 bridge and Viaduct 3 are both complete.

On the remaining section of the alignment up to Dale Road in Midrand, the civil works are substantially complete. Tracklaying is well advanced and erection of the overhead catenaries is in progress.

MIDRAND STATION

AERIAL VIEW OVER MIDRAND STATION

MIDRAND STATION, CONSTRUCTION OF THE ADJACENT GRAND
CENTRAL BRIDGE, ON WHICH THE PLATFORMS WILL BE
PARTIALLY LOCATED

At Midrand Station, retaining wall construction and backfilling adjacent to the Grand Central bridge on which the platforms will be located, is ongoing and M-beams on this bridge were installed during February

From the Midrand area northwards, relocation of utilities, bulk earthworks, bridge construction and fencing activities continued, with work now underway along the entire alignment through to the Technopark area at Centurion.

VIADUCT 4 OVER RIETSPRUIT AND OLIFANTSFONTEIN ROAD SOUTH

Deck erection at Viaduct 4 is complete and parapet erection has started.

VIADUCT 5 OVER THE N1, BEN SCHOEMAN AND INCLUDING CENTURION STATION

Construction of foundation shafts and piers continued at John Vorster Viaduct and at Jean Avenue Viaduct. Construction of the in-situ balanced cantilever deck sections on top of two sets of piers at each of these viaducts is ongoing, with the graceful arched form of these exceptionally long deck spans now beginning to become apparent.

Several temporary steel pedestrian bridges have been erected over the N14 highway at the Jean Avenue interchange and across the N1 at John Vorster interchange to provide construction workers safe access across these busy highways.

AERIAL VIEW OVER VIADUCT 5 AT JOHN VORSTER AVENUE,
CANTILEVER CONSTRUCTION

VIADUCT 5 AT JOHN VORSTER INTERCHANGE

Viaduct 5 carries the elevated alignment through Centurion and supports the elevated Centurion Station platforms located approximately midway along its length. This viaduct stretches from the John Vorster Interchange crossing the N1 in the south and then continues through Centurion to the Jean Avenue Interchange, crossing the Ben Schoeman highway in the north.

In Centurion itself, preloading, grouting and piling of viaduct pier foundations were ongoing, and pile cap and pier construction continued. Approximately 30% of the supporting piers for Viaduct 5 have now been completed.

The launching girder that was relocated from Viaduct 4 during January 2009 was re-assembled adjacent to the Centurion Rugby Club and two of the deck spans had been erected by the end of February.

At Centurion Station, foundation grouting is ongoing.

VIADUCT 6 OVER EEUFEES ROAD

At Viaduct 6, large diameter foundation piling is in progress at the northern pier positions and dynamic compaction below the southern approach fills is ongoing.

VIADUCT 7 OVER NELSON MANDELA BOULEVARD

VIADUCT 7 OVER NELSON MANDELA BOULEVARD AND SARCC RAILWAY

VIADUCT 7 OVER NELSON MANDELA BOULEVARD AND SARCC
RAILWAY, AERIAL VIEW

Construction of this viaduct is progressing well, with the supporting piers to the section that will carry the deck across Nelson Mandela Boulevard clearly visible.  The M Beams for the first four spans of Viaduct 7 have been placed in position. Piling and foundation construction for the remaining sections of this “Y-shaped” structure that will carry the Gautrain tracks over the existing railway lines is ongoing.

Near Salvokop at the approach to Pretoria, where a cut & cover structure will cross below the Ben Schoeman highway, the first phase of construction is complete. The temporary northbound deviation was opened to traffic in mid-January and excavation of the second phase of this structure below the permanent northbound carriageway is approaching completion.

PRETORIA STATION

At Pretoria Station, construction of the station platforms is ongoing and structural columns and brickwork for the station concourse and related technical and administration facilities are also in progress.

PRETORIA STATION, CONSTRUCTION OF THE STATION PLATFORMS,
STRUCTURAL COLUMNS AND BRICKWORK FOR THE CONCOURSE

HATFIELD STATION, VANTAGE POINT

HATFIELD STATION

At Hatfield Station, part of the station concourse deck is already complete. Construction of pile caps and columns at the adjacent multi-story parkade is ongoing.

Between Pretoria Station and Hatfield Station, a number of bridges crossing the existing railway line require to be either widened or lengthened to accommodate the adjacent Gautrain tracks. Whilst some of these bridges have already been completed and reopened to traffic, works on a number of the remaining structures is ongoing.

C) EAST-WEST AIRPORT LINK

3. Airport Link (Marlboro Station to OR Tambo International Airport)

Earthworks is in progress along this entire section and is well advanced, albeit hampered by the continuing abnormally wet weather experienced during February 2009.

Work is ongoing at all of the eleven bridges along the Airport Link and construction of the three viaducts on this section of the route is approaching completion.

VIADUCT 13 OVER CENTENARY WAY, MODDERFONTEIN

Viaduct 13 is substantially complete, with finishing works in progress.

VIADUCT 14 OVER ZUURFONTEIN ROAD AND RAILWAY LINE

At Viaduct 14, erection of deck segments is complete and parapet erection is ongoing.

VIADUCT 15 INCLUDING RHODESFIELD STATION

AERIAL VIEW OVER RHODESFIELD STATION

ROOF STRUCTURE ERECTION FOR RHODESFIELD STATION

Erection of precast elevated platform components at Rhodesfield was completed, erection of the structural steel platform roof structure has started and, at ground level, concourse foundation construction continued.

The Rhodesfield Station platforms are elevated and are located approximately one third of the way along Viaduct 15, directly above the existing Metrorail railway lines running between Isando and Kempton Park.

The station entrance, concourse and parking area will be positioned at ground level on the eastern side of the existing railway lines.

VIADUCT 15 INCLUDING OR TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT STATION

AERIAL VIEW OVER OR TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIPORT STATION

OR TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT STATION, CONCOURSE SHELL

At Viaduct 15, where deck erection started just west of Rhodesfield Station, the final span at the eastern end of this viaduct adjacent to the ORTIA Station concourse was completed. Parapet installation is well advanced along the completed spans of this structure and finishing operations are underway.

Construction of the external shell of the ORTIA Station concourse is substantially complete and is visible above the elevated drop-off road. Inside the concourse, brickwork and plastering has been completed and finishing works have commenced.

The Gautrain Station concourse is directly linked to the departures level of the adjacent new Central Terminal Building, one level below.
The 1.5 km long Viaduct 15 is by far the longest viaduct on the east-west section of the route. This viaduct supports both the Rhodesfield and ORTIA Station platforms and will carry the double track railway line over the R21/R24 road network to the elevated OR Tambo International Airport Station.

At the western end of this viaduct, where ten spans remain to be completed, the launching girder that was relocated from Viaduct 14 has been re-assembled to complete erection of these remaining spans.

D) OVERALL PROGRESS

Construction started at the end of September 2006. Gautrain will be completed in two phases:

  1. The first phase has a duration of 45 months. It includes the network between the OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton and includes the stations at OR Tambo, Rhodesfield, Marlboro and Sandton, together with the Depot and Operations Control Centre located near Allandale Road in Midrand.
  2. The second phase, being constructed concurrently, will be completed in 54 months, towards 2011. It includes the remainder of the rail network and stations linking Sandton to Park Station in Johannesburg and the route from Midrand to Hatfield.

Toll-free call centre: 0800-GAUTRAIN (0800-42887246). The call centre is operational weekdays between 7am and 7pm with an answering system after-hours.

Communities are reminded that regular Community Liaison Forums are held in affected areas. These afford residents the opportunity to voice their concerns and have their questions answered by Gautrain officials who are present at these meetings.

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