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North East projects win top engineering awards

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VBA, the joint venture comprising VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and Atkins, has won the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) North East’s Robert Stephenson award for its Crag End Landslip project in Rothbury, on behalf of Northumberland County Council.

ICE North East presented the award earlier this month at an annual celebration of civil engineering excellence in the region. With three category areas for entrants to win, the project won against tough competition from five others shortlisted in the large project category (value more than four million pounds).

Chair of the ICE Robert Stephenson Awards Judging panel, Derek Smith said: “We awarded Crag End Landslip as the winning project because VBA was highly technical and brought together further specialist teams to provide innovative solutions to overcome complex geotechnical challenges. Despite the restricted site, the continuous design review and bespoke access arrangements led to a safe and successful project and a close working relationship with the local community who welcomed the benefits of the scheme.”

Furthermore, as part of ICE North East celebrating its 125th anniversary, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge (GMB) was voted by members as the most significant project built in the North East within the past 25 years. The second Tyne Tunnel (TT2) was also placed in the top three. This was great recognition for VolkerStevin which was main contractor for the GMB and specialist immersed tube tunnel contractor on TT2.

VBA site agent, Will Davies commented: “Receiving this award is fantastic recognition of the hard work we have put into this project. We have worked closely with the local community to ensure longevity and sustainability in the area. Naturally we are delighted to have won this award.”

The Crag End Landslip project comprises the reconstruction of a 300m section of road near Rothbury for Northumberland County Council. The B6344 road was closed in December 2012 following a landslip, causing dramatic socio-economic impacts and major inconvenience to residents. VBA was initially appointed to undertake ECI works by Northumberland County Council, and then went on to secure the design and construction phase of works.

The VBA project tackled complex geotechnical challenges, designed and constructed an anchored bored-pile retaining wall, identified opportunities for environmental enhancements and focused on safety with no reported accidents over 88,000 man hours without a RIDDOR.

Northumberland County Council’s senior engineer, Peter Brewis said: “We believe the project exemplifies fully integrated end-to-end project delivery at its best, we are delighted. We scored VBA 10 out of 10 in their customer experience survey.”

ICE is one of the world’s leading civil engineering institutions which has been around for almost 200 years.

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