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Historic headland, flood scheme and sewage works win big at North East awards

Date
12 April 2022

The Robert Stephenson Awards ceremony in Newcastle celebrated the best civil engineering projects across the region. 

Historic headland, flood scheme and sewage works win big at North East awards
The annual ceremony took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Newcastle on Friday 8 April 2022. Image credit: Neil Denham Photography

Three North East schemes from Northumberland, Durham and Teesside have been awarded for their excellence in civil engineering at the 2022 Robert Stephenson Awards.

The annual ceremony took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Friday 8 April and saw 11 shortlisted projects battle it out to win an accolade in either the Small, Medium or Large Project Award categories.

The three awards were presented to the following projects:

Small Project Award winner (for projects valued under £1million)

Elephant Rock 2022 Robert Stephenson Award winners
Elephant Rock - 2022 Robert Stephenson Award winners. Image credit: Neil Denham Photography

The Small Project Award went to Elephant Rock - Hartlepool Premier Outdoor Events Area, delivered by Seymour Civil Engineering and Classic Masonry for Hartlepool Borough Council.

In the late 19th century, construction was undertaken to stabilise the exposed limestone cliffs of the Historic Headland and create a robust sea defence.

Through this scheme, upper and lower promenades were constructed with an amphitheatre venue incorporated.

This bandstand was at the heart of the community for over 50 years before being closed down for being structurally unsafe. In 2019, funding to return the bandstand to its former glory was secured.

Interesting project fact

The site is adjacent to the designated Heugh Gun Battery and the location where the first shell from the leading German Battle Cruiser struck on 16 December 1914.

Elephant Rock
Elephant Rock. Image courtesy of Hartlepool Borough Council

Medium Project Award Winner (for projects valued between £1 and £5million)

Ponteland Flood Alleviation Scheme - Robert Stephenson Award winners
Ponteland Flood Alleviation Scheme - Robert Stephenson Award winners. Image credit: Neil Denham Photography

Ponteland Flood Alleviation Scheme, delivered by Arup and BAM Nuttall for the Environment Agency, won the Medium Project Award category.

The works involved replacing a 189m stretch of fluvial flood defences made up of existing walls and embankments along the River Pont that had minimum residual life remaining.

The defences were replaced with a 10.5m deep sheet pile wall encapsulated with a reinforced concrete wall which utilised an imprinted and pigmented finish.

Being near a conservation area meant the scheme needed to blend in with the walls and buildings of the town. Thus, an area was created adjacent to the wall to enhance existing landforms and promote biodiversity.

Interesting project fact

The River Pont which is next to the scheme contains a unique habitat of both signal crayfish and white-clayed crayfish. Surveys were undertaken prior and during construction to protect the native species.

Ponteland FAS
Ponteland Flood Alleviation Scheme. Image courtesy of Bam Nuttall

Large Project Award Winner (for projects over £5million)

Wolsingham STW Growth - 2022 Robert Stephenson Award winners
Wolsingham STW Growth - 2022 Robert Stephenson Award winners. Image credit: Neil Denham Photography

The Large Project Award category winner was Wolsingham STW Growth, the sewage treatment works delivered by Wood PLC and Tilbury Douglas Construction Ltd for Northumbrian Water Limited.

The works are by the River Wear, between Crook and Stanhope in North-West Durham. It contains a biological filtration plant serving a population equivalent of 2,259.

The works had suffered performance-related issues and some assets had reached the end of their useful life. These, combined with a planned development and catchment area growth, meant that the works required upgrading.

The works included a combination of new STW components and the upgrade of existing facilities. Northumbrian Water sanctioned the £5.77m project and Tilbury Douglas and Wood began design work in 2018.

Other major parties involved were Stortec, Aquardia, Intelect and Xylem.

Interesting project fact

The works were completed 100 days early and £800k below client budget.

Wolsingham Sewage Treatment Works
Wolsingham Sewage Treatment Works. Image courtesy of Wood PLC

Highly commended project

A19 Testo's junction improvement scheme - Highly commended project
A19 Testo's junction improvement scheme - Highly commended project. Image credit: Neil Denham Photography

In the Large Project category, the judges also chose to award a Highly Commended certificate to A19 Testo’s Junction improvement scheme, delivered by Jacobs and Costain Limited for National Highways.

A19 Testo’s junction is a major roundabout junction connecting the A19 with the A184 in South Tyneside.

The project consisted of building a 141-metre span flyover, new local road connections and public rights of way. By completing this project, the team have improved journey time, increased capacity and improved safety for all drivers and cyclists.

Interesting project fact

Interesting project fact: Over 60% of the project team live in the area and all steel in the beams came from the North East.

Testo roundabout
A19 Testo’s Junction improvement scheme. Image courtesty of Costain Limited

Individual Award Winners

These individuals were honoured within these particular categories:

  • STEM Ambassador of the Year Award winner – Jessica Clark
  • Volunteer of the Year Award winner – Kirils Holstovs
  • ICE North East Chair’s Special Recognition Award – Mike Wade
Individual Award Winners at 2022 Robert Stephenson Awards
Individual Award winners. From left to right, Jessica Clark, Kirils Holstovs and Mike Wade.

The shortlisted projects

A full list of the Robert Stephenson Award shortlisted projects is available on the ICE website

View the list
  • Joanne Stephenson, marketing communications executive at ICE