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Murray & Roberts’ third expert witness, tells M1/Grayston Drive inquiry he would have redesigned drawings


Construction firm, Murray & Roberts’ third expert witness, Ric Snowden told the M1/Grayston Drive Pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse inquiry that based on the drawings he had seen, if he were a designer of the temporary works structure he would have re-designed the structure taking into account that the stand alone structure erected by Murray & Roberts was not as per the drawings.   


Snowden testified on the importance of sequencing further emphasising the issue of adequate bracing, saying this was critical in all phases of the work. He said had bracing been done adequately the temporary works structure would not have collapsed.


“Although I was made aware of the deviations in the construction of the structure, this was a matter between Murray & Roberts and FormScaff.,” he said.


Snowden said while there was a misalignment of the girders in the centre median, there could have been immense pressure on Murray & Roberts to open the road. He further told the Commission that although the construction was ahead of schedule, there were a number of dates that were revised.


According to Snowden he said he had interrogated the drawings of the project and a lot of information was missing. He further told the Commission if he were constructing the project using the same drawings, safety would have been compromised. He identified that the drawings were not signed off by a professional engineer.


The M1/Grayston Drive Pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge Inquiry has been appointed by the Department of Labour. The Department set-up the Section 32 Inquiry to uncover the causes for the collapse of the scaffolding work into the Grayston Drive Pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge.


The collapse of the temporary bridge structure on the M1/Grayston Drive led to the death of two people and injury to 19 others. The Section 32 investigation, is presided by Lennie Samuel, assisted by Lesibe Raphela.


Another Murray & Roberts witness expert, Stefanus Francois van Zyl took a stand today. He is an engineer with 45 years of  experience.


Meanwhile, the Commission has announced that it will tomorrow (20 July 2016) have a short session. The Commission together with stakeholders will be visiting the site of the fatal accident. The visit follows Murray & Roberts’ request to reconstruct the bridge.


The site has been under a prohibition notice by the Department of Labour following the collapse of the temporary structure.


The site visit will be preceded by a presentation by Murray & Roberts to the Commission. After the presentation the Commission will write to the Department of Labour Chief Inspector for input, and will in due course provide a response to Murray & Roberts’ request.   


NB: A presentation by Murray & Roberts to the Commission will be conducted indoors. Media is however invited to a site visit.

The site visit by the Commission is scheduled to be held from 15:00.-ENDS


Issued by: Mokgadi Pela

Acting Departmental Spokesperson




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