JUDGES SIFTED through a record number of entries to award prizes to three projects in the ICE's East of England Merit Awards.
Southend-on-Sea's Pier Hill enhancement (pictured) won the award for technical excellence.
The physical achievement award went to Whitemoor local distribution centre, while the Chorleywood embankment stabilisation scheme in Hertfordshire won the innovation award.
The Southend project involved regenerating the hill area which stands between the High Street and Western Esplanade to include a tower, link bridge, staircase and landscaped gardens.
Pier Road was also rebuilt and the team of contractor Fitzpatrick, consultant Cameron Taylor Bedford and project manager Dudley Smith Partnership completed the work in just over a year.
Architect was Stanley Bragg, Wynne-Williams Associates was the landscape architect, and Johns Slater & Haward was services consultant.
Judges were impressed by the scale and complexity of the Whitemoor local distribution Centre - now Britain's largest rail supply depot. This was built for Network Rail by Birse, working with engineer Atkins in a tight, six month timescale.
Chorleywood embankment stabilisation project won praise for the 'skill, bravery and engineering innovation abilities of modern civil engineers, ' said one of the judges, ICE regional manager John Canton.
The project involved making permanently safe an embankment running alongside a live railway line. Contractor Cementation Foundations Skanska and consultant Mott MacDonald carried out the work for client SSL Alliance Trans4m.
Four other projects were highly commended. They were:
Bedfordshire's Fairfield underpass, on the A507
the A12 trunk road project at Marks Tey, Essex
Syleham water treatment works in Suffolk
Lound water treatment works, also in Suffolk.