UK Project with a Geotechnical Value of between £1M and £3M

This is for a ground engineering scheme (as a standalone project or part of a larger development) with a contract value of between £1M and £3M that stands out in terms of its credentials in innovation, sustainability, health and safety and value engineering.

A595 Moresby Hall Embankment

National Highways commissioned Amey to deliver an options study and detailed design for remedial works to an embankment supporting the A595 carriageway near Moresby Hall in Cumbria. The existing embankment had historically recorded crest wall defects and slope instability that could lead to total closure of this key transport corridor for local and long-distance commuters, which also serves Sellafield Nuclear Power Plant. Previous studies on the embankment condition had recommended full removal/reconstruction and even a complete road re-alignment at considerable expense and disruption. However, a more economical ground engineering solution of partial embankment reconstruction, with use of lightweight fill and geosynthetic reinforcement, was taken forward without road closure and incorporating the existing earthworks asset. This option allowed for carriageway widening and steeper slope gradients to be achieved, whilst reducing extensive excavation requirements and stresses on underlying soils.

Arup, Griffiths, Llywodraeth Cymru & Welsh Government
A487 New Dyfi Bridge

The A487 New Dyfi Bridge climate resilience scheme delivers vital flood protection to Mid-Wales, promoting prosperous and cohesive communities. Through construction of flood defences and a viaduct over the Dyfi floodplain, the scheme removes the need for a 46 mile diversion during increasingly common periods of flooding to access essential services. The Griffiths and Arup team collaborated with their supply chain to bring innovation to the scheme enabling construction within an active floodplain, removing deep pile cap excavations and temporary works through the use of large diameter monopile foundations and an incrementally launched viaduct. Through innovative construction techniques, modular construction and using automation tools the team challenged the perceived limits of construction in the UK to deliver a safe and sustainable project. The team have demonstrated the value infrastructure schemes can bring to communities through a holistic approach to sustainable development and when a total design approach is taken.

Ayesa, Murphy & Network Rail
Aylesbury Culvert Replacement

The Aylesbury Culvert replacement from January to August 2023, addressed an urgent infrastructure failure beneath Buckinghamshire's Chiltern branch line, necessitating a halt to rail services. Led by J Murphy & Sons, Network Rail and Ayesa, the initiative showcased rapid, collaborative efforts to repair a Victorian culvert, critical for drainage and railway operations. An immediate temporary solution was succeeded by a permanent replacement: a new precast concrete box culvert designed by Ayesa. This final design addressed structural stability and incorporated environmental enhancements to mitigate flooding risks and promote biodiversity. Challenges such as high groundwater, flood risk, operations and a tight execution schedule were overcome through innovative engineering and cooperation with the Environment Agency, Canal and River Trust. Completed 12 hours ahead of schedule and incident-free, the project highlights effective teamwork, flexibility, innovative solutions grounded in geoscience and sustainability, earning praise for its swift execution from Network Rail and media coverage.

Dawson Wam
Conveyor Foundation

DAWSON-WAM demonstrated an industry leading drive to work collaboratively with their client on the development and delivery of the HS2 Conveyor Foundation works package. The project involved the construction of a series of foundations on an elevated railway embankment which had previously failed. The historical repair work included filling with large limestone boulders which presented a challenge to the installation of piled solutions for the conveyor. Further challenges presented in the form of restricted access and Network Rail ALO conditions. Working closely with their client, DAWSON-WAM developed a solution involving the use of large, long-reach excavators coupled with MOVAX side grip and Casagrande feeder mast technology to enable the installation of partially-cased hollow-bar micropiles from the toe of the embankment. The solution not only protected the embankment from heavy equipment loading, but also enabled a piled solution capable of penetrating large obstructions and securing the integrity of the pile bore.

Dawson Wam
Nuneham Viaduct Emergency Repair

Nuneham Viaduct, spanning the River Thames in Oxfordshire, faced closure due to significant structural movement, disrupting over 100 daily passenger and 40 freight trains per day. Network Rail enlisted Balfour Beatty for an emergency repair, aiming for a 10-week turnaround. DAWSON-WAM, a key supplier, contributed over 6,000 incident-free hours to the project, addressing challenges such as an active fibre optic line and very weak soils. To prevent further failure, a driven tubular pile solution was implemented, utilising surplus steel from the petrochemical industry. The viaduct's southern end was supported by 24m CHS piles, driven to provide a robust new support. Sheet piled retaining walls, incorporating surplus materials, facilitated railway embankment completion. Despite the urgency, the project finished a day ahead of schedule on June 9, 2023, showcasing collaboration, ingenuity, and unfaltering determination to make the project a success, under severe scrutiny.

OTB Engineering, Alun Griffiths, Shotcrete Services, Powys County Council, Welsh Government & Network Rail
Machynlleth Underpass

Machynlleth Underpass Creating Active Travel connectivity and safe passage for walkers and cyclists by opening a redundant arch in North Wales . A dangerous pinch-point made cycling and walking hazardous. The solution was opening a redundant infilled brick arch tunnel crossing through a rail embankment. It was an unusual geotechnical problem: the structure is situated within a rail embankment with cover to the overlying operational railway line and adjacent road underpass, resulting in complex loading conditions. Previous attempts had failed so lateral thinking was needed. OTB Engineering and Alun Griffiths’ innovative design focused on risk management, constructability and stakeholder collaboration. The adaptable, incremental approach, including a novel application of RamArch, married technical excellence with total commitment to health, safety and protecting the railway. The successful project would never have happened but for the persistence and shared will of a fully integrated multidisciplinary team, driven to create a public good.

Piledesigns, PD Geostructures & Trenchco
CFBS Sports Hall

Piledesigns .'s Sports Hall Block project at the Central Foundation Boys School in Islington stands as a excellent example of innovation and collaboration in the construction industry. Overcoming the unique challenge of constructing a subterranean sports hall within a live school courtyard, the project seamlessly merged geotechnical and geostructural expertise. The use of a hybrid design approach, incorporating 600mm diameter piles and a composite liner wall, showcased cutting-edge solutions, eliminating the need for temporary works propping. Repurposing steel plunge sections underscored a commitment to sustainability and resource efficiency. This exceptional project not only demonstrates technical excellence but also exemplifies collaborative construction, structural ingenuity, and a profound dedication to sustainability, making it a standout contender for the UK Project of the Year.

Ramage Young Design & Malcolm Construction
Lost Shore Surf Resort

The Lost Shore Inland Surf Resort to the southwest of Edinburgh is being constructed on an infilled former dolerite quarry over 20-25 metres of spatially variable made ground. There are tight constraints on the absolute and differential settlement of the structure. Investigations and monitoring suggested that the made ground was a matrix-dominated material of clay and silt-sized soils. Preloading with site-won earthworks fill was used to treat the quarry infill materials. Soil-structure interaction analyses were undertaken using Robot FEA and Rocscience Settle3, iterated to obtain a same-strain solution. The ground model included the quarry highwall and surveyed depths of made ground. Parameters were derived from back-analysis of the response of the fill to loading for compression, consolidation, creep and unloading/reloading stages. Monitoring of the position and level of the cove structure is being undertaken during construction of the structure and will continue into commissioning and throughout the 50-year operational period.

Horwich Rivington Chase Link Road

Working on this scheme for Bolton Council, Menard provided an innovative, alternative, ground improvement solution involving Dynamic Replacement, Pre-Fabricated Vertical Drains and Controlled Modulus Columns to support a new 1km long link road and associated embankments intended to provide access to new housing and commercial developments in the surrounding area whilst easing traffic congestion. The proposed road ran over challenging ground conditions consisting of thick layers of peat down to between 3-9m below ground level. The solution is intended to limit total and differential settlements to acceptable limits. After being involved at an early stage to devise a cost effective solution, the scheme was developed over a period of 2 years eventually being successfully installed on site in 2023. The proposed solution provided a cost-effective system in comparison with original proposals with an acceptable duration along with a large reduction in embodied carbon compared to alternatives.