Mhlahlane River Viaduct

The Mhlahlane River Viaduct is a 620 m long, 50 m high multiple-arch concrete structure, situated near Ulundi, KwaZulu-Natal, on the Broodsnyersplaas to Richards Bay railway line. It won two awards:

  • Concrete Society of Southern Africa (CSSA) Commendation for the development of a proven design to produce a long, high viaduct of classical structural form.
  • South African Institution of Civil Engineers (SAICE) Regional Award for Excellence in Civil Engineering.

In 1980 the South African Railways (SAR) commissioned extensive work to be done on the Coal Line from the Transvaal coalfields to the newly constructed port in Richards Bay, Northern Natal (KwaZulu-Natal). The project objective was to increase the carrying capacity of the existing line and infrastructure to enable the export figure of 27 million tons of coal per annum to be increased in progressive steps to 80 million tons.

J&G's Johannesburg branch was responsible for the upgrading and realigning of three sections of track between Ermelo and Piet Retief and the Pietermaritzburg branch was responsible for four major rail deviations between Vryheid and Ulundi. This included the design and construction of the Mhlahlane River Viaduct as well as the 3 km long Mpolweni Tunnel.