‘Remarkable’ Forth Road Bridge repair project wins engineering award
The repair of damaged steelwork which led to the closure of the Forth Road Bridge in 2015 has been crowned the overall winner of the 2016 Saltire Society Civil Engineering Awards.
The Forth Road Bridge: Truss End Links Repair by Amey engineers was last night awarded the Greatest Contribution to Scotland Award after judges praised the work for being “a remarkable engineering achievement carried out during a period of adverse weather conditions, whilst ensuring public safety and the structural integrity of the bridge”.
Scotland’s longest bridge, used by over 24 million vehicles a year, was forced to close in December last year after fractured steelwork was identified in a ‘truss end link’.
Quick and efficient work of the contractor and clients engineering teams enabled the Forth Road Bridge to reopen to all vehicles except HGVs on 23 December.
By repairing the bridge ahead of schedule and under extreme media, political and public scrutiny, the lives of tens of thousands of commuters and travellers, who were forced onto heavily crowded trains, relief buses and alternative roads in the interim, were able to return to normal after only 20 days of disruption.
Scaffolding for the project was provided by Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services (SGB).
Established in 1981, the Awards are a much coveted accolade from the Saltire Society and the Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland, recognising excellence and innovation in civil engineering.
This year’s Awards have been revamped to feature six individual categories to mark 2016 as the Saltire Society’s 80thanniversary and include a new award for the project judged to have made the greatest contribution to Scotland.
The Infrastructure award went to the A82 Pulpit Rock Realignment on the banks of Loch Lomond. Projects that received commendations include the Lamington Viaduct on the River Clyde, the Gourock Pier Redevelopment, Ngau Tam Mei to Tai Kong Po tunnels in China, and the Elgin Flood Alleviation Scheme.
Convenor of the judging panel Gordon Pomphrey, said: “The Forth Road Bridge project demonstrated a remarkable engineering achievement carried out during a period of adverse weather conditions, whilst ensuring public safety and the structural integrity of the bridge.”
Speaking on behalf of Amey, major bridges director Ewan Angus said the project offered a “unique opportunity to showcase civil engineering to the nation”.
He added: “We are incredibly proud of our team’s achievement in reopening the bridge early in the most challenging of circumstances and of the benefit this brought to the people of Scotland.”
Humza Yousaf, minister for transport and the islands, added: “It is fitting that the unsung heroes responsible for developing such an innovative and effective solution against a challenging deadline and under the watchful eye of a nation have been recognised for their efforts.”
Jim Tough, executive director of the Saltire Society, said: “This is a special year for the Saltire Society as we reflect upon 80yrs of celebrating the Scottish imagination in all its forms. Civil engineering is vital to modern living and a successful economy and we believe it is important to recognise the achievements of the industry and the wide variety of projects that make such an impact on our daily lives.”
The awards were presented at ceremony in the National Museum of Scotland on Tuesday 25 October.