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Kent link road wins ICE award

ICE news

A MAJOR link road improvement scheme between mainland Kent and the Isle of Sheppey won the ICE South East England Thomas Brassey award last week.

The prize is awarded by the region's Kent and East Sussex branch for a local project completed over the past year displaying engineering excellence.

This year's winner, the A249 Iwade Bypass to Queenborough Improvement Scheme, was described by judges as demonstrating 'exceptional geotechnical and structural innovation'.

It provides a new 5.6km dual carriageway that includes the 1.3km long Sheppey Crossing, spanning 29m above the Swale shipping channel. Previously the only route on and off the Isle of Sheppey was via the heavily used Kingsferry Bridge, which has to shut for 20 minutes whenever it's lifted to allow ships to pass underneath.

Client was the Highways Agency, main contractor Carillion and consultant was Capita Symonds.

Narrowly missing out on the top award was the £3.4M improvement to junction four of the M20, which featured a unique bridge-stitch to widen the crossing over the motorway (NCE 4 May 2006).

Client was Kent County Council, contractor Birse Civils and consultant Peter Brett Associates.

The Itford Farm Bridleway Bridge, crossing the A26 in the South Downs, won the Brassey small project category.

Built for the Highways Agency by Balfour BeattyMott MacDonald joint venture InterRoute, judges said the steel frame with timber cladding structure harmonised with its surrounding environment.

Last week's Brassey awards followed hot on the heels of the region's South branch's awards.

Winner of its Prestige and Maritime Award was the £2.8M extension of usable quay-side facilities in front of Venture Quays, Cowes, Isle of Wight, from 1,500m to 8,500m.

The South major project prize went to contractor Nuttall for its 'Tear Drop' junction improvement scheme in Havant, Hampshire.

Designed by GC Partnership and Gifford for the South East England Development Agency, this £3M scheme remodelled the junction between the A27 westbound slip roads, the A2030 and a local access road.

l ICE South East England's Thames Valley branch also held its branch awards recently, with contractor Hochtief's A23 Coulsdon Town Centre Improvement Scheme winning the major project category.

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