Nine projects were shortlisted from the 29 entries for the BCI Civil Engineering Award - one of the most hotly contested categories in 2001. Quality of entries - for projects between £3M and £50M - was higher than ever, making the choice for the judging team extremely difficult.
This week NCE presents a brief summary of each of the shortlisted projects in the category. All the Civil Engineering finalists are also elegible for the BCI Construction Best Practice Award, sponsored by the Construction Best Practice Programme. Two of them - A253 Ramsgate Harbour Approach Road and Mile End Park - are also shortlisted for the new Prime Minister's Award for Better Public Building.
Winners and Commendations will be revealed next month at the BCI Awards dinner on 24 October at the London Hilton, and published in NCE, the Architects' Journal and the Daily Telegraph.
Gatwick Airport runway rehabilitation Client: Gatwick Airport Cost: £15.793M Principal designer: Airfield Engineering BAA Other firms: Lafarge Contracting (asphalt surfacing subcontractor);
ABB (electrical subcontractor);
Concrete Cutters (Sarum) (concrete coring and AGL installation); Jointline (asphalt grooving)
HMNB Portsmouth refurbishment of the Western Jetties The Royal Navy wanted five deep water jetties at Portsmouth upgraded to support the complex services of modern warships, all to a tight budget, the highest quality and without interfering with operations.
Some 650m of old jetties and structures had to be demolished without disturbing seawalls and scheduled Ancient Monument buildings of the Senior Service's historic base. Two 180m long jetties with closed quay walls had to be built to serve vessels up to 50,000t displacement, including Aircraft Carriers and Type 42 Destroyers.
Services including electric power, fresh water, steam, fire mains and compressed air were supplied through a gallery below tide level. Large diameter steel piles with a predominantly precast superstructure formed the main carcass of the jetties.
Client: The Secretary of State for Defence Cost: £21M Principal designer: Symonds Group Contractor: Balfour Beatty/ Costain Joint Venture Other firms: Mott MacDonald (JV designer for civils and M&E); SEC (electrical subcontractor); Cupron (mechanical subcontractor); Paine (rebar/concrete); Redland Lafarge (concrete supply); Mannesman (tubular piles supply)
M2 Medway Bridge main span strengthening and concrete repairs Increasing traffic density and upgraded bridge loading design codes meant that the three decade old Medway Bridge would either have to be replaced, or substantially strengthened as part of the M2 widening project.
Because of the generally good condition of the prestressed concrete box girder structure, it was decided that it would be cheapest to strengthen the existing twin two lane and footway bridge to carry the four eastbound lanes of the enlarged motorway.
Work on the main, 152.5m river span and its backspans involved hauling 500t of reinforcement, stressing and drainage materials and equipment up from ground level into the four box girders.
Inside the confined spaces the contractor had meticulously to carry out non destructive testing surveys of the densely packed steel cast into the slender concrete members, then carry out delicate exploratory borings. Bespoke arrays of holes could then be drilled for the hundreds of anchorages needed to splice in the extra concrete diaphragms and deflector combs required.
Client: Highways Agency, Dorking Cost: £10M Principal designer: Maunsell Contractor: Edmund Nuttall Other firms: Freyssinet (stressing); Makers (cathodic protection); Daniels Services, DSL (access scaffolding); Filmer Contracting (diamond drilling);
McCalls Special Products (tie bars);
RMC Southern (concrete)
Mile End Park, London E14 (Also shortlisted for Prime Minister's Award) Mile End Park was, until recently, a disjointed series of open spaces in east London, sliced into quarters by a busy road and a couple of railway viaducts. The vision of the project was to bring the park back into general public use.
Extensive earthworks have given shape and form to the park with elevated contours and new lakes. A land bridge structure links the park across the road and also created a series of shops and restaurants.
Two buildings for receptions and public meetings have been created, which employ ideas for sustainablility such as high thermal mass derived from earth covered roofs.
Client: Mile End Park Partnership, London Borough of Tower Hamlets Cost: £25M Master planning & park buildings architect: Tibbalds Engineer: Mott MacDonald Contractor: Fitzpatrick Contractors Other firms: CZWG (green bridge architect); Brian Cheetham Partnership (project manager);
Chandler KBS (QS)
Newark Dyke rail Underbridge reconstruction, Nottinghamshire Sliding in replacement bridges in brief possessions of rail lines is a relatively frequent engineering task. But it is not often that such projects are as large and critical as the work on Underbridge 278 of the East Coast Main Line at Newark Dyke.
Brittle failure of two diagonal ties prompted speed restrictions on the 225km/h line and signalled that two, 110 year old, Whipple Murphy trusses would have to be scrapped. Three years planning and 18 months of detailed design and construction reached their conclusion with a 76 hour possession of the line over August Bank Holiday 2000.
During the main possession the two slender 600t lattice trusses of the old bridges were slid away and the new 77m long bridge moved sideways into place. Trains were crossing it at full speed soon after.
Client: Railtrack London North Eastern Cost: £9.3M Principal designer: Cass Hayward & Partners Contractor: Skanska Construction UK Other firms: Mott MacDonald;
Corus Rail Consultancy; Kvaerner Technology; Kvaerner Cleveland Bridge; First Engineering; Hevilift
Project Orwell, Ipswich
Storm flooding of Ipswich's combined sewers overflowing into a wide area of the town had been a persistent problem for some time.
Modelling and analysis of sewer flows led to the concept of a deep level, large diameter interceptor sewer which would act as a reservoir during extreme rainfall.
The plan involved a 2.44m diameter tunnel through the chalk about 50m below the surface, running for 5km under the town and intercepting the existing drainage network via 11 intermediate shafts.
Two contractors developed the design over six months before Amec was awarded a design and build, target price contract for the tunnel and shafts. A close partnering arrangement was adopted and the project was completed four and a half months early.
Client: Anglian Water Services Cost: £22M Principal designer: Anglian Water Technology Group Contractor: Amec Capital Projects Other firms: Lovat (tunnelling mole); Babtie Group (structures/sewerage design); AF Howland (geotechnical consultant);
Ipswich Borough Council (hydraulic modelling); Faithful & Gould (cost consultant)
Proof House junction remodelling, Birmingham The complex rail junction just outside Birmingham New Street was in need of a radical overhaul from the viaduct and underbridge structures and drainage to the signalling, telecoms and overhead power supply system.
Radical decisions on the way to carrying out the project involved setting up an alliance between the rail infrastructure owner, designer and contractor, and the choice of a 19 day blockade, shutting down the railway, as the most efficient and economical way to do the work.
After six months preliminary site works, training and rehearsals - and facing fearsome financial penalties for any overrun - the alliance completed the work in the allotted time.
Client: Railtrack West Coast Route Modernisation Cost: £36M Delivered by Proof House Alliance:
Railtrack WCRM/Carillion/Atkins Principal designer and signalling contractor: WS Atkins Rail Contractor: Carillion Other firms: Central (permanent way installation); GTRM (signalling, catenary and E&P installation);
Carillion Infrastructure Management (civils works); Thales, Racal (telecoms design and installation)
A253 Ramsgate Harbour approach road, Kent (Also shortlisted for Prime Minister's Award) Ramsgate's narrow streets were the only access to the harbour, and were one of the constraints on local ambitions to expand a port which has had mixed fortunes in attracting freight and passenger traffic. Funding was secured for a bypass that would remove all port traffic from the town centre by putting it through an 820m long two lane tunnel under Pegwell.
Taylor Woodrow and Perforex JV came up with an alternative to the planned NATM using Perforex' prevaulting technique, its first appliction in the UK.
The system uses a giant chain saw-like excavator which cuts a fan of deep slots in the ground ahead of the main excavation. The slots are bored out and grouted solid on a hit and miss basis similar to underpinning, so that settlement above the tunnel is minimal.
Once a complete arch has been formed, the core of material within is excavated and the cutter moves forward to complete another cycle.
After the complete tunnel was holed through at Ramsgate, a permanent, insitu concrete lining was cast using a travelling shutter.
Shortly after work started the main passenger ferry operator at Ramsgate ceased trading so the bypass is presently carrying little traffic.
Client: Kent County Council Strategic Planning Directorate Cost: £28.34M Principal designer: Babtie Group Contractor: Taylor Woodrow/Perforex joint venture Other firms: Sir William Halcrow (structures design); Howard Humphreys, Haliburton Group (M&E design check); CA Blackwell Contracts (earthmoving subcontractor); Tyco Control Systems (tunnel operating systems)
Seafield wastewater treatment works, Edinburgh Edinburgh's Seafield wastewater treatment works had to be upgraded to meet effluent discharge qualities in the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive and to make the Forth estuary's beaches comply with the Bathing Waters Directive. Odours had to be reduced and the hydraulic capacity of the 1970s built plant increased to 21m 3. And dumping untreated sewage sludge at sea had to stop.
Robust conventional technology such as UV disinfection, and sludge digestion and drying was added to the plant. This had to be extensively rebuilt and expanded in and around its normal 24 hour operations.
Client: East of Scotland Water Cost: £49M PFI project team, Stirling Water: Gleeson/Thames Water/Montgomery Watson Principal designer: Montgomery Watson Architect: Reiach and Hall Contractor: MJ Gleeson Group Other firms: ECL (sludge design);
Thames Water Engineering (process design); Aston Dane (systems integrator); Barr Steel (structural steelwork)