The people of the North East are being asked to vote for a winning project of the Institution of Civil Engineers’ (ICE) Robert Stephenson Awards, The Crag End Landslip Stabilisation project, near Rothbury, Northumberland, which is in the running to become the UK’s most popular civil engineering project.
Voting opens online today for the ICE People’s Choice Award, allowing everyone that uses infrastructure to choose the UK’s greatest civil engineering achievements of the year. The Crag End Landslip Stabilisation project, which repaired and futureproofed a stretch of the B6344, is one of 12 nominated projects from across the UK and the public has until November 30 to decide its favourite. The winning infrastructure project will be announced in January 2017.
The £9.5 million project involved the reconstruction of a 300m section of road which was closed by a massive landslip in December 2012. It not only dealt with the direct impact of the 2012 landslip, but also addressed the underlying causes of ground instability, ensuring the residents of Rothbury will no longer have to take lengthy detours to get to the town.
To achieve this, civil engineers from the VBA Joint Venture, who were commissioned by Northumberland County Council, designed and constructed an anchored bored piled retaining wall to support the road and an innovative passive dewatering system to reduce pressure from groundwater.
Working in local communities throughout the North East and across the world, civil engineers are constantly finding new ways to provide practical solutions to society's everyday problems, and propel nations into the future with new, ever-improving infrastructure.
Penny Marshall, ICE North East Regional Director, said: “Civil engineers create, maintain and operate almost everything between and under our homes. The infrastructure they build connects, nourishes and improves the lives of everyone it serves.
“Because of this vital work, civil engineers are as indispensable to society as doctors, teachers, police and social workers. Without civil engineering billions of people around the world would be poorer, disparate and isolated - no train stations, airports, clean water, waste treatment, roads, internet or electricity. Farms would wither and businesses would go bust.
“This is a chance to celebrate civil engineers, who design and build infrastructure for the public and make a world of difference to local communities. Vote now for your favourite infrastructure project and help promote the overwhelmingly positive contribution of civil engineering to everyday life.”
Will Davies, site agent at VolkerStevin, said: “Most of the clever engineering is invisible to people driving along the new road. Slopes are held in place by retaining walls and 30m long rock anchors. In the early stages of the project, CCTV cameras were lowered into boreholes, to help engineers understand what was happening below ground. The footage was used to help create 3D models which provided the basis of the design.
“The team managed the high underground, artesian water pressure by building four metre high pipes above the ground. This enabled them to balance the water pressure and prevent spills into the nearby River Coquet.”
People can vote at www.ice.org.uk/PeoplesChoice.