Modular Panel Bridge System (MPBS)


UMP has developed a Modular Panel Bridge System (MPBS) that represents a further development of the traditional Bailey modular bridge design used in remote areas. The next-generation MPBS solution, which uses higher-strength steel and complies with both South African TMH 7 and SANS 10162 1 2011 standards. Prefabricated bridges include vehicular truss and girder bridges, pedestrian bridges, and even golf course bridges.

Types of bridges.

We manufacture at our facilities in Johannesburg the following types of bridges:

Modular Panel Bridge System (MPBS)
Prefabricated Vehicle or Pedestrian Truss Bridges
Suspension foot bridges
Our Process
Company background
UMP was founded in 1974 as a South African based urethane moulding company. Since then the company has developed into a diversified urethanes and engineering business shipping our products globally. Located on 8,500sqm property in Edenvale, just outside Johannesburg, and with a subsidiary company on 10,000sqm in Carletonville 50 kilometres west of Johannesburg, we have ample manufacturing space and capacity for all kinds of projects. 

Ignis Bridge Systems (IBS) a division of UMP is a prefabricated steel bridge manufacturing company that started out refurbishing and manufacturing the old Bailey type 100 bridge sections for rural bridge applications, since then we have developed a new modern generation Modular Panel Bridge System (MPBS) which uses higher strength steels and is compliant to South African TMH7 and SANS 10162-1:2011 standards. We have also added other prefabricated bridges to our range including vehicular truss and girder bridges, pedestrian bridges, and golf course bridges.

In additional to its manufacturing capabilities, the UMP team has decades of experience in managing and funding large projects, our team has advised numerous government entities (including the International Finance Corporation and other Multilaterals) and private consortia on projects ranging from power stations,
toll roads, hospitals, dams, prisons and airports These skills ensure UMP becomes a core member of any project in which it participates.

Why Steel Bridges?

• Steel bridges are a modern construction method commonly used in the rest of the world
• Approximately half the weight or less than concrete bridges
• Can be manufactured and installed in a fraction of the time it would take for a concrete bridge
• Steel bridges are more economical to build


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About Rural Bridges

Most of us in a modern city or town would not notice how many bridges we drive over on the way to work, schools or shops, take a minute to think about it what the impact would be to you if the bridge you drove across this morning was out of service. What would the deviation or disruption have been to your trip? Now think about a rural area where just having a 20m wide washaway or gulley can mean a detour of 1 to 3 hours and potentially in the rainy season being totally cut off from civilisation. This means many people are living in communities without bridge access and as a result are isolated from basic education, healthcare, fresh produce markets and work opportunities thus disadvantaging rural communities while exacerbating and contributing to inequality between rural and urban communities.

The benefits of bridges in rural areas.

Apart from the many specific benefits as detailed below we also need to be cognisant of climate change and the fact where many communities have low level river crossings or culverts which become flooded and hence cut the communities off from civilisation. Due to climate change the situation is only going to get worse.

Access to basic education
Health services access

Access to basic education

  • Bridges enable safe crossing of rivers by teachers and school children especially during the wet season and times of flooding.
  • In a report by the Borgen Project they reported as follows: Angelique, a thirteen-year-old resident in the Shagasha community of Rwanda, states that having a safely installed bridge nearby has transformed her commute to school, and thereby her learning performance. “I used to be 30th in my class. I had repeated bad performance because I missed school. Now I’m 6th in my class – my marks have improved.” Being able to attend school regularly, thanks to the bridge built in the community, has allowed many children to improve in their studies since they have been able to safely get to their classes.
  • Enables more regular attendance at school especially during the wet season when streams and rivers become impassable. The increased attendance at the schools should lead to better grades.
  • Allows children to get to school without having to endanger their lives wading through rivers or trying to cross over by balancing on pipes and logs. ‘Beware of hippo’s and crocodiles’ in some rural areas these are a real threat.
  • Here women are most likely to be crossing bridges to get to clinics for their own treatment or that of their
    children and babies, the safe access by means of a bridge increases the percentage chance of a woman

    seeking healthcare and support from clinics for maternal and neonatal care.
  • The world bank estimates that 75% of maternal deaths could be prevented by timely access to essential
    related care.
  • Provides access for mobile clinics to get to the elderly and disabled who cannot travel.

Economic benefits.

Labour Markets
Social interaction
Bridges have been proven to improve the economic situation of rural famers in the environment around bridges [Nicaragua bridges] this is both on the supply side and market side. The reasons being they can now easily get fertiliser and seed to the to their farms at a lower cost, the fertiliser also increases the agricultural yields and then they gain on the market side as transport to the market is at a lower cost and because the route is shorter damage to the product is minimised. They are also not impacted by heavy rains or seasonal flooding which means they have a more regular income stream year-round.
Due to improved access people can set up shops closer to the rural villages enabling rural trade and commerce to grow.
Bridges enable easy access to work opportunities in rural commercial centres, enabling family members the opportunities to earn higher incomes which would not be possible without a bridge due to time constraints.
Facilitates interaction between families and communities making them stronger.

Why you should choose us?

  • 100% Local manufacture
  • 100% Local technical support and engineers that understand the regional
    environments into which the bridges are going.