In the highlands of Lesotho, the piers of an 825m long bridge are rising out of a valley that is to be flooded for the Polihali Dam reservoir project.

The Senqu Bridge will be the first extradosed bridge in the southern African kingdom of Lesotho. This week, casting of the second highest pier has started. It will be cast over 22 days at a rate of 4m a day, working 24/7 with a pause at 60m to raise the crane. The final height will be 84m.

The sliding formwork for Pier 10 (the second highest pier) under assembly. Credit: Lesotho Highlands Water Project

The Polihali Dam is part of the Lestotho Highlands Water Project, which includes two other major bridges taking the A1 road over the Mabunyane and Khubelu rivers. There will also be four pedestrian bridges and six vehicle bridges on feeder roads, and this programme is under procurement (link opens in new tab).

Senqu Bridge was designed by Zutari. The construction contract was awarded to the WRES Senqu Bridge Joint Venture in August 2022 (link opens in new tab). The primary partners are: Webuild, Raubex Construction, Enza Construction and Sigma Construction. Sub-contractors include: EXR Construction, Gleitbau-Geselschaft, Post Tensioning and Structural Solutions and Freyssinet International et Cie.