The diamond mining town of Oranjemund was previously only accessible via air or through neighbouring South Africa on sealed road network. Formerly a private mining road, MR118 was a gravel road for most parts until the upgrade and connection to the national road network.
With the Orange River to the south, Atlantic Ocean to the west and surrounded by desert to the north and east resulting in unique climatic conditions, the project area is home to several endemic species of flora (located in Tsau //Khaeb / Sperrgebiet National Park). Passing through active diamond mining areas and in-between the Orange River and steep mountains added to the design team's challenge to meet and balance stakeholder expectations.
SMEC’s on-site design team worked in close collaboration with the Contractor to ensure timely delivery of critical design information, and feedback from site to the designers to balance the need for accurate design and progress of works.
SMEC’s efforts in meeting the challenge were recognised through a commendation for the project in the Best International Project category at the 2019 CESA AON Engineering Excellence Awards and first prize in the Consulting Engineers category at the 2019 Crown Publications’ Best Projects Awards.
VKE, part of the SMEC group, was appointed in 2006 to carry out the detailed design and contract administration for upgrade to surfaced standard of Namibia's Main Road 118 (MR118). The project implementation timeframe required design on site, with design data being generated while the Contractor was establishing and starting to build the new road.
The assignment included project management, fieldwork, data collection and analysis, including survey, traffic engineering, geotechnical investigations, prospection, and coordination of EIA and EMP development. Engineering design comprised of drainage design, geometric design, pavement design, structural design, design reporting and contract documentation. Contract administration of FIDIC Red Book contract and construction supervision are part of the engagement.
- Namibia, ǁKaras Region
- Technical Area:
- Roads Authority (Namibia)