Cameo role for Mandela Bridge


Snippets of the railway tracks beneath Nelson Mandela Bridge taken from Coldplay's new Paradise music videoSnippets of the railway tracks beneath Nelson Mandela Bridge taken from Coldplay's new Paradise music video

SNIPPETS of Nelson Mandela Bridge and the railway tracks beneath it can be seen in the video for Paradise, the latest single by British rock band Coldplay, from the band's new album, Mylo Xyloto.

"We were thrilled to have a top band like Coldplay using the Nelson Mandela Bridge and the FNB Stadium in their new music video. It shows that these two iconic locations are significant landmarks in the city, even for rock bands," said Susan Monyai, the Johannesburg Development Agency's marketing manager.

The agency was involved in the two, just as it has been involved in a number of other catalytic urban renewal projects over the past decade. One of these was the redevelopment of Newtown, which began in 2001 with the construction of Nelson Mandela Bridge, the construction of Metro Mall taxi facility, the refurbishment of Mary Fitzgerald Square and the construction of Number 1 Central Place, as well as Constitution Hill.

Earlier this month, Coldplay used the bridge as a backdrop for the video, which ends with visuals from the band's Joburg concert. The British band was in the country for two concerts, one in Joburg and one in Cape Town, their first in South Africa.

The concert

A blaze of fireworks kicked off Coldplay's Joburg concert at FNB Stadium in Soweto on 8 October, where about 62 000 people packed into the stands and field. Frontman Chris Martin and his band launched straight into their first top 10 hit single, Yellow, and the stadium lit up with yellow lights, lasers, large balloons and beach balls.

Martin told the crowd that the band's drummer, Will Champion, had suggested shooting a music video in South Africa, saying: "It's so much sunnier and warmer than where we come from."
He asked the crowd: "Would you like to be in the video?" The stadium exploded into cheers and screams, and Martin explained that a minute-long clip would be shot at the stadium for the video for their new song Paradise.

Putting huge elephant masks over their heads, Martin joked: "When you're not as attractive as Beyoncé you got to do what you can … please don't put this on YouTube."
Coldplay ended the concert with a spectacular three song encore with Clocks, Fix You with the intro to the late Amy Winehouse's Rehab, and the new hit Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, and another fireworks display.

The bridge

Nelson Mandela Bridge, opened on 20 July 2003, is the largest cable-stayed bridge in southern Africa, linking Braamfontein, the inner city and Newtown.

The band also shot part of their video at their concert at FNB Stadium in SowetoThe band also shot part of their video at their concert at FNB Stadium in Soweto

When the City bosses built it, they aimed to combine two things: to honour the country's best-loved citizen and to encourage people to come into a rapidly rejuvenating city centre, particularly the cultural hub of Newtown.

Two years and R120-million later, the bridge emerged as a city landmark. It is 295 metres long and covers over 42 operational railway lines. It is part of the R300-million inner city renewal project driven by the province's economic development initiative, Blue IQ.

The bridge was implemented under the guidance of the South African National Roads Agency Limited. Goba Moahlodi-Keeve Steyn Incorporated was the consulting engineers. It is made of structural steel and a concrete composite deck to make it as light as possible, while heavier back spans were built using reinforced concrete to counterbalance the distance it traverses.

The bearings, of 1,5 metres in diameter, are designed to accommodate the largest temperature movements of the bridge. Some 4 000 cubic metres of concrete and a thousand tons of structural steel were used, along with 500 tons of reinforced steel that were cast into the concrete.

Across it, people and vehicles move between Braamfontein and the inner city. It has also been used for photo shoots and cultural events, such as Joburg Fashion Week.

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