Opened in 1983 following a construction period that lasted three years, the Bloukrans Bridge is an arch bridge on the national N2 highway near Nature’s Valley, at the border between the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape in the Tsitsikamma area of South Africa’s Garden Route.
Built through a partnership of Murray & Roberts and Concor, and designed by Liebenberg & Stander, the Bloukrans Bridge was constructed by the free suspended cantilever system. That is, every fourth segment – each averaging 5.25 metres in length – is tied back by the BBR suspension cables. At the time of construction, the Bloukrans Bridge was the largest concrete arch bridge in Africa and the fourth largest in the world. The arch alone, has a mass of nearly 12,000 tonnes!
Standing at a height of 216m above the Bloukrans River, the bridge has a central span of 272m, with a length of 451m in total. This road bridge cost aroud R11 million to construct, and also happens to be the site of the world’s highest commercial bungee jumping operation, becoming the first African bridge for bungee jumping in 1990.
Bloukrans Bridge Bungy, operated by Face Adrenalin since 1997 (when the bridge officially opened for bungy jumping), is the current bungee site operator – just in case you want to go and have a closer look at this engineering marvel!