The ICE Wales Cymru Project Awards 2015 recognise excellence in concept, planning and design, contract management and construction in schemes completed across Wales in 2014. The winners were announced at an awards dinner at the Marriott Hotel, Cardiff on 1 May in the company of ICE President David Balmforth.
George Gibby Award (for larger projects)
A477 St. Clears to Red Roses Improvement
Client: Welsh Government
Principal designer: Ramboll
Engineer: Hyder Consulting UK
Principal contractor: SRB Civil Engineering UK,
The A477 St Clears to Red Roses Improvement was procured under an early contractor involvement contract by the Welsh Government. The 9.3km project significantly improves this strategically important trunk route, giving access to south west Wales, Pembroke port, local tourist centres and the Enterprise Zone in Milford Haven.
The new route has improved journey times, user comfort, safety and maintenance access, while removing high traffic volumes from the villages of Llanddowror and Red Roses. An integrated approach to planning, design and construction ensured that many potential issues and concerns were accommodated within the completed design with safety, the environment, sustainability and value engineering/buildability considerations to the fore of all design making.
During construction, effects on the local community, road users and the environment were minimised through careful, considerate works planning. Value for money and local spend were prioritised and the route was opened in April 2014 ahead of time and under budget.
Project awards panel chairman Norman Seward said: “The judges were pleased to see the way in which the scheme addressed the sensitive environment and the way in which the team worked well with the local community, including schoolchildren from the area. Savings were made in time and cost and the judging panel felt this was due in no small part to the effective partnership which was focused on finding win-win solutions to the challenges which arose on site.”
Roy Edwards Award (for smaller projects)
The Smart Bridge
Client and contractor: JR Smart
Designer and engineer: Ove Arup
A new footbridge was required to replace an existing unsightly, narrow and uninviting bridge that crossed the busy south Wales mainline railway in an area of Cardiff city centre recognised for high levels of anti-social behaviour. The Smart Bridge was the solution.
The tightly constrained site and railway crossing increased the challenge further. Parametric modelling enabled development of multi-tiered, curved ramps, providing sufficient width for cycle and wheelchair access.
Structural steel allowed a single 40m span to be achieved, enabling construction works to remain outside the Network Rail boundary. The original grouted annulus connection enhanced durability and aesthetics of the bridge as well as permitting erection from its temporary supports to installation in under an hour.
The bridge has been central to the regeneration of the surrounding area.
The clever use of lighting and open feel has encouraged renewed use of the crossing, changing public perception, and re-opening an important link between Cardiff city centre and Cardiff Bay.
Project awards panel chairman Norman Seward said: “The judges were impressed with the attention to detail, the innovative way in which the ramps were designed to fit in a very limited space, the very significant change in appearance and feeling of safety of the rail crossing for users of the bridge. The Smart Bridge is an attractive and functional structure which greatly reduces severance and improves connectivity between the city and the Capital Quarter.”
Special Award for Regeneration
River Taff Central Link & Penderyn Square
Client: Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council
Principal designer and engineer: Capita Property & Infrastructure
Principal contractor: Alun Griffiths Contractors
The River Taff Central Link and Penderyn Square Project is part of the £25M Merthyr Tydfil Town Centre regeneration programme that aims to ensure that Merthyr Tydfil becomes a key regional centre in the Cardiff Capital City Region.
The scheme greatly improves accessibly into the town centre, through the delivery of a one way gyratory system including the installation of the new St Tydfil’s Bridge with its iconic skew arch structure; the construction of the College Plaza linking the Merthyr Learning Quarter with the riverside and Town Centre; a major public realm enhancement at Penderyn Square and a designated bus lane and remodelled traffic junction at Castle Street.
The project has reduced traffic congestion which has improved pedestrian and cycle access, road safety for pedestrians and in particular college students.
The new road network has also made the riverside area an attractive destination for future development.
Project awards panel chairman Norman Seward said: “The judges were impressed with the vision for the centre of the town. The proposals significantly improve the town centre in a way that could not be achieved without a major rethink.
“The judges also complement the team on the significant community involvement during the scheme, including the promotion of links with Merthyr College A level students and the Engineering Education Scheme Wales. It is commendable to see a comprehensive urban renewal project effectively delivered in this way. Buildings of architectural and historic interest have been retained and put to beneficial use.”
Special Award for a Project within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
The new RNLI Slipway Lifeboat Station at Porthdinllaen
Client: Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Principal designer and engineer: Opus International Consultants (UK)
Principal contractor: Bam Nuttall
The new lifeboat station at Porthdinllaen was designed to accommodate the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s new 26 knot Tamar class slipway lifeboat.
The Tamar Lifeboat has a faster response time and advanced ergonomics to reduce the impact on the crew as the lifeboat crashes through waves in rough weather to reach a casualty.
Opus International Consultants worked with the RNLI and the National Trust to design a scheme to fit the surrounding area of outstanding natural beauty and overcame several design challenges.
The building plan shape was designed to follow the cliff line to reduce visual impact and to minimise excavation of the rock cliff. Sustainability was important and suitable stone from the original building was used for the masonry of the new seawall, with the remainder crushed on site for hard core fill material. Delivery of primary material and plant was by sea, avoiding impact on the local community.
Project awards panel chairman Norman Seward said: “The judges were impressed by the way in which the construction difficulties had been overcome and the sensitive way in which the building addresses the environment. This is an attractive and functional building which has been designed and built with great care in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”
Erwood Bridge Refurbishment Scheme
Client, designer and engineer: Powys County Council
Principal contractor: Dawnus Construction Holdings
The Erwood Bridge refurbishment scheme included the demolition and reconstruction of the existing concrete piers, crossheads, cantilever deck and parapets, to this 100m long four span composite bridge spanning the River Wye and located in a Site of Specific Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.
The collaboration and early engagement of the site team and subcontractors enabled the demolition method to be changed from hydro demolition to cutting nearly 200m3 of concrete using concrete wire cutting, and an innovative method of lifting out the cut blocks, which minimised the environmental risk.
This unique lifting method was incorporated into the temporary works supports which supported the jacked up deck and allowed pedestrian access over the bridge to be maintained throughout. The works delivered community benefits surrounding employment and community projects and were completed within budget, three months early, without environmental or safety incident and to the complete satisfaction of the client and other stakeholders.
Project awards panel chairman Norman Seward said: ‘The judges commended the ingenuity and innovative approach to the design and erection of the temporary works, without which access for the demolition and reconstruction work would not have been possible.
The team are to be congratulated on the delivery of an excellent solution to a difficult problem resulting in a bridge once more fit for purpose.’
Special Individual Recognition Award
Eric Price (Foryd Harbour Public Square and Quay Wall)
The construction of a new public square and 188m extended quay wall at Foryd Harbour complements the ongoing regeneration in West Rhyl.
At design stage, conventional solutions such as cladded sheet piles were considered, but the cost of sheet piles and the associated cladding made the scheme unviable and planning requirements stated that the new wall was to blend in with the existing limestone quay wall.
After research, the CPM Redi-Rock walling system was adopted. The Redi-Rock modular walling is made partly from recycled material.
This provided a sustainable and practical solution as well as displaying innovation in design as it was the first time the system had been constructed in tidal conditions within the UK.
The construction methods used respected the ecological status of the site and the scheme involved extensive consultation with suitably qualified ecologists to ensure minimal impact to the environment within and surrounding the harbour area.
Project awards panel chairman Norman Seward said: “When we visited the 11 projects that we shortlisted, we were impressed by the community engagement across all of them. But in one case, Eric Price proved himself to be a key individual within the project team and demonstrated an additional element of passion and ownership.”
Awards to young civil engineers were also presented on the night by ICE Wales Cymru Chairman Chris Craufurd. The winners were:
Ben Barr Award for newly professionally qualified civil engineer of the year (sponsored by Symmons Madge)
- Engineering Technician winner: Rhys Roberts
- Chartered Engineer winner: Yvonne Murphy
Paterson Prize (awarded to the author of the best written exercise at the Professional Review, living or working in Wales and nominated independently by reviewers): Stephen Heaney
Emerging Engineer Award: Athanasios Angeloudis
ICE Wales Cymru Apprentice of the Year Award (sponsored by Alun Griffiths, Arup, Atkins, Carillion, CH2M Hill, CITB, Costain, Dyer & Butler, EC Harris, Lafarge Tarmac, Walters): Annie Jenkins
The Premium Partner for the ICE Wales Cymru Awards 2015 was the Swansea Bay Innovation Hub. The Swansea Bay
Innovation Hub and the Engineering Manufacturing Centre have been part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. ICE Wales Cymru Project Awards 2015 were sponsored by Symmons Madge, Alun Griffiths, Arup, Atkins, Carillion, CH2M Hill, CITB, Costain, Dyer & Butler, EC Harris, Lafarge Tarmac, Walters.