Five regional engineering projects were put into the spotlight at the East of England Merit Awards 2020. The schemes received recognition for their roles in protecting communities, vital energy supplies, enhancing regional resilience and efficiency whilst supporting biodiversity and the natural environment. The awards were presented by two of the East of England Merit judges; Paul Mitchelmore and Andrew Palmer.
Bacton to Walcott Sandscaping Scheme – Exceptional Merit Award
Bacton to Walcott Sandscaping Scheme
Submitted by North Norfolk District Council, the Bacton to Walcott Sandscaping Scheme, received the highest honour of the 2020 Awards. In the first of its kind in the UK, the Nature based solution pumped 1.8 million m3 of sand on the beach to combat the effects of climate change such as erosion and flooding along the coastline. Inspired by the Netherlands Sand engine, the scheme was developed to the different climate and environment conditions in Norfolk.
It received the Exceptional Merit Award for Technical Excellence and Innovation, for its ground-breaking approach in a UK first to protecting approximately 300 homes from erosion and 100 homes from flooding in the communities of Bacton and Walcott, and the Bacton Gas terminal which supplies over a third of the UK’s gas supply.
West Suffolk Operations Hub, Physical Achievement - Merit Award
West Suffolk Operations Hub
The £24 million state-of-the-art single waste management site in West Suffolk, was developed to increase efficiency, reduce costs of waste management for the local councils and add more capacity to the growing West Suffolk region, which projects an increase of 20% growth in housing over the next 20 years. The scheme received a Merit award for Physical Achievement.
Wallasea Island Manual Handling Equipment Demobilisation - Merit Award
The Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project is a landmark conservation and engineering scheme on a scale never before attempted in the UK, and the largest of its type in Europe. The new wetland off the Essex coast, was created from tunnel spoil from London's Crossrail project. The scheme combats the threats from climate change and coastal flooding by recreating the ancient wetland landscape of mudflats and saltmarsh, lagoons and pasture. In January 2020, a total of 30,000 birds were seen across the reserve. The Scheme received a Merit award for Sustainability. The Judges saw a continuing high level of commitment by the whole team to remove all the temporary infrastructure needed for the main project. This has enabled the area to return to its natural state and flourish.
Mill Square, Chelmsford Station - Merit Award
Mill Square, Chelmsford Station
A new open, safe, and direct link for pedestrians and cycles to access urban neighbourhoods surrounding Chelmsford Station, whilst making improvements to taxi circulation. The scheme included a new bridge, retaining walls, car park and landscaping. The improved station environment has made people feel safer and has opened opportunities for additional commercial spaces within the station. The improved station environment has made people feel safer and has opened opportunities for additional commercial spaces within the station. The Project won a Merit Award for Team Achievement for stakeholder collaboration that enabled the team to deliver a highly quality solution. The project has been chosen as a case study for ‘The Value of Station Investment’ research project commissioned by the Rail Delivery Group and Network Rail.
Parkeston Pumping Station – Highly Commended
Parkeston Pumping Station
Parkeston Pumping Station is situated at the lower end of the Dock River in north-east Essex and helps protect the low-lying areas of Parkeston and Ramsey from flooding. The project team improved the pumping stations usability and safety by replacing the weedscreen, concrete riverbanks, replace the existing footbridge and installing new permanent emergency pumps. The works were successfully delivered adjacent to the live Harwich to Colchester railway line within a live port.
The project was highly commended by the judges in the Physical Achievement category for the practical application of a simple and cost-effective arrangement to avoid risk from manual handling of heavy items within a very confined site and close to an active railway and overhead power lines.
Congratulations to all our entrants to the East of England Merit Awards 2020; we look forward to celebrating achievements across the region again next year.