Common Mistakes in Bridge Construction

Common Mistakes in Bridge Construction

The best way to avoid bridge failures is to expect them to happen and develop a good risk management strategy. Don’t just wait to cross that bridge when you get there. This is the only way to protect the public from injuries, loss of life, property damage and destruction. Some bridge collapses are mysteries when they first happen. It isn’t until a detailed investigation is completed that the true cause is revealed.

I am going to list a few common mistakes in bridge construction:

1. Poor Bridge Maintenance: The collapsing of bridges could be prevented with more strict inspections and frequent routine maintenance. Rusted parts must be replaced, drainage areas cleared in case of natural disasters and reinforcements added especially when the use of the bridge has increased. The Connecticut Turnpike over the Mianus River collapsed due to the failure of steel pins that had corroded. I can not believe the lack of bridge maintenance! Can’t get over it.

2. Cheap Materials: A bridge is only as strong as what it’s built with. No one likes to spend money, but excessive cost-cutting can leave the bridge vulnerable to collapses. Not only is the bridge put in a more precarious situation, but saving money on materials can also lead to more costly repairs down the line.

3. Design Defect: While some bridges are constructed perfectly with high-end materials, they can still fail if the design is flawed. Bridges with a poor design could fail to hold enough weight or withstand natural conditions. There are bridges whose collapse was unpreventable before the bridge was ever built.

4. Natural Disasters: Today’s changing climate and the extreme weather events associated with it is causing chaotic weather. Most collapses happen on bridges that were built a long time ago when designers couldn’t imagine the kind of storms they’d have to withstand today. We can’t control the weather, but we can build structures strong enough to withstand such natural disasters. There is always room for improvement.

5. Accidents: Whether it’s a truck hitting a support post, a train falling off the tracks or a boat colliding into a foundation, accidents are one of the leading reasons bridges are damaged or come down. Bridge engineers must plan for all types of incidents. They will have to also bear in mind what the future holds for us. Will there be driverless cars, larger ocean tankers, and cruise ships, along with pilotless drones that could impact bridges in the near and distant future? I think it’s possible, most of it is already happening.

I am definitely no expert in any of these aspects, but keep these failures in mind next time you sitting in your car under a train bridge and the robot for you to go is red.

Sources:
Wikipedia
Civil Digital
Asset Works
Engineers Journal


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About Sonet Du Plooy

I started working at Leads 2 Business in 2014. I was part of the Tenders Africa team and have now recently moved to Private Projects. I love every second of it!

Top 10 Tendering Mistakes to Avoid

Top 10 Tendering Mistakes to Avoid

65-Blog--Header-The-Top-10-Mistakes-You-Must-Avoid-When-Tendering

What are the Top 10 Tendering mistakes?

 

Most things in life revolve around the dos and don’ts; the game of tendering is no different. It may seem exciting to push the boundaries in life sometimes but deviating from the requirements when tendering can cost you a valuable tender that your business desperately needs.

 

 

There are many examples of tendering mistakes some of which may seem minor or harmless but could cost you a tender. Let’s be pro-active!

 

Here are the Top 10 Tendering Mistakes to Avoid:

 

 

1. Don’t be late – For the Site Meeting or the Closing Date. Mark the dates on your Calendar, set reminders and know where you are going, preferably before and not on the day. Submit the tender with time to spare. Account for things like traffic, unknown locations or any other obstacles that could result in a last minute rush.

2. Site Meeting – Attend and sign the Register. The purpose of a Site Meeting is for you to have a detailed understanding of the tender requirements and is also significant as you will be able to see who else is planning to tender. When evaluating your tender the Client may check whether you attended and if it’s a Compulsory Meeting you will most likely be disqualified. Either way it makes sense to attend to get useful info regarding the tender.

3. Don’t Assume – if you have questions, if you are unsure, if you think something is incorrect or missing, communicate with the relevant contacts and get clarification, chances are you’re not the only one asking. On that note if your tender is unsuccessful ask why so that you can use the information when applying for future tenders.

4. Don’t be Irrelevant – Keep all your answers clear & concise and most importantly relevant.

5. Copies, Copies, Copies – remember to submit the correct number of copies required and keep an extra copy for your own records.

6. Don’t be Untidy – Imagine how frustrating it is for the person evaluating or adjudicating a tender to try and decipher poor handwriting, or make sense of pages which aren’t in order. An organized and legible document creates a positive impression. After all, you want to present your company in the best light and a well presented tender creates the impression that contracts will be handled with the same care and attention to detail.

7. Don’t Misrepresent – Stick to the facts. Don’t make false statements about your company or its ability. A Tender Document is a legal document and therefore enforceable by law. Misrepresentation or unsatisfactory practices could lead to your company being placed on the National Treasury Restricted List. “Some of the common practices that lead to the restriction of suppliers are poor performance, breach of contract, failure to obtain permission to do remunerative work outside of employment, supply of counterfeit products, and collusion.”

8. Follow the Requirements – Meet all the minimum requirements. Go through the requirements carefully ensuring you meet them. Tenders that do not meet the minimum requirements otherwise known as non-responsive are disqualified.

9. Check, Check & Check again – Admittedly not the most exhilarating task but vitally important. Get someone with fresh eyes to check your tender a final time while making sure all the required documents are attached. Be 100% confident that the tender you are submitting is complete and accurate.

10. Delivery Location – Make sure you know exactly where your tender needs to be delivered to, right down to the Tender Box number, before the Closing Day.

 

 

Bonus tip:
Keep abreast of the developments in your sector. Subscribe to a service that provides direct, simple access to valuable building and construction information delivered daily directly to your Inbox, thereby ensuring consistent wealth of new business leads. A service which also provides Support Services if you need assistance or have a query. Want to know more? Contact me on SashaA@L2B.co.za

 

 

 

DYK (according to www.getbiz.co.za):
“A bidder must not quote more than R1 million when the bid document stipulates that the bid is an 80:20. This means that proposals cannot exceed R1 million. Bidders must be aware that 90:10 bids, on the other hand, are valued above R1 million, but bid issuers are not allowed to indicate how much they have budgeted for a project. However, bid issuers are required to indicate whether a bid is a 90:10 or 80:20 in terms of the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA). So this serves as a good indicator of how much the bid issuer has set aside for the project.”

 

Sources:
http://www.getbiz.co.za/index.php/biz-news/business-and-economy/82-top-five-mistakes-that-can-cost-you-a-tender

The business of tenders


https://www.westerncape.gov.za/tenders/support/tips
http://www.destinyman.com/2015/04/20/10-top-tender-tips-for-small-business-owners/

 

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About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life