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Awards recognise use of innovative geotechnics

TWO MAJOR projects whose success relied on innovative and well-executed geotechnical engineering won prizes at the 2002 British Construction Industry Awards.

The Boston Central Artery jacked tunnels, engineered by a Mott MacDonald-led team, won best international project; while Contract 430 ofSection 1 ofthe Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) took the major project award.

The Central Artery Project is designed to take most of Boston's highway traffic underground. It involved building three interstate highway tunnels under an operating commuter railway in downtown Boston (GE July 1999).

Mott MacDonald's solution was to jack the tunnel structures into position. The largest is over 100m long and weighing 30,000t. Each of the tunnels is more than 10 times the size ofany jacked tunnels attempted in the US.

CTRL project manager and designer Rail Link Engineering and contractor Skanska collected the Major Project Award for the 15km Contract 430 section.

The route had to negotiate several live railways as well squeezing through some tight infrastructure. Work involved a 1.8km cut and cover piled trench with 3,200 piles.

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