VKE Namibia announced a winner at the 2019 Best Projects Awards

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VKE Namibia, part of the SMEC Group, was announced a winner in the Construction World Best Projects Awards, which took place on 6 November at the Rand Club in Johannesburg.

The Best Projects Awards were started in 2002 in recognition of excellence in the built environment. It is the only award in South Africa that recognises achievements across all disciplines in this industry.

The award, which was in the category for Consulting Engineers, was given for the construction of the Main Road 118 between Oranjemund Rosh Pinah for the Namibian Roads Authority.

The ninety-eight kilometres of Main Road 118 connecting the world’s largest alluvial diamond deposit at Oranjemund, Namibia, and its eighth largest zinc mine near Rosh Pinah, had existed for nearly 100 years as a gravel road. It was in urgent need of re-construction and in 2013 SMEC, through its Namibian subsidiary VKE Namibia, was appointed to design and oversee the construction of a new road to full bitumen standards.

The challenges to this project were both physical and administrative. The former included the geography of the area, which runs through the wind-swept Namib gravel plains, rough mountainous country and shifting sand dunes. The administrative challenge was the extremely short time allowed between appointment and the contract commencement date: in fact, only three weeks were available for the preparation of full tender documents.

Despite this, the project was completed to the highest quality standards and is a monument to the harmonious blend of a road with its beautiful surroundings.