Byzak, based in Gateshead, sent an international team to deal with the crisis, driving new tunnels beneath the Tyne to carry new drinking water pipes through.
Douglas Kell, director of CECA north-east, said: "The judges were impressed that the tunnel was driven without public or media comment in such an area of natural beauty and tranquillity. It testifies to the success."
The 130m-long tunnel was dug 8m below the riverbed, reconnecting Hexam with the local treatment works. The tunnel was ready within a month; the job completed in 64 weeks and had a budget of £2.7m. It is the second time Byzak has won the Project of the Year award in the north-east in four years – the last time they won it for underground water works in the Wear Valley.
Byzak's design manager Iain Foster said, "We tunnelled the Tyne without causing a ripple. And precision engineering brought the tunnel in on line and level."
Balfour Beatty CE: Newcastle - replacement of the UK's largest skewed rail bridge in Hartlepool.
Edmund Nuttall: Newcastle Đ reconstruction of berth at Port of Blyth to take Russian coal.
Black and Veatch: Bradford - securing raw water for 800,000 Tynesiders.
Seymour (CE Hartlepool):regeneration of Sunniside Gardens, Sunderland to create a plaza.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Hall Construction Services: Rushyford
John Hellens (contracts): Hetton