Project of the Year

THE £16m footbridge over the River Tees demonstrated the highest level of technical achievement, innovation and application of best practice.

THE £16m footbridge over the River Tees demonstrated the highest level of technical achievement, innovation and application of best practice.

It was delivered on time, to budget and demonstrated team working throughout the supply chain.

The client, Stockton Borough Council, sees the bridge as a key to the regeneration of the North Shore. It wanted the structure to be a landmark for the area, to make a statement about the quality of the North Shore development and to be achieved with a sustainable, functional and striking design.

In order to meet the brief, each element of the design was devised to carry out multiple tasks. For example, the concrete deck walking surface also provides all the drainage channels, houses the services and provides base fixings for the handrails.

The key sustainability driver was to minimise the amount of material in the structure. The application of value engineering brought real benefits in terms of sustainability and cost savings. The project team re-engineered the arch steel work to reduce the quantity of steel used in the superstructure by allowing thinner sections to be used where possible.

One of the client’s requirements was for minimal disruption to the River Tees during construction. The innovative solution was to erect and temporarily support the first section of the larger arch off a strand jack in tension from the smaller arch.

This removed any need for temporary vertical support from the centre of the river.

Local project delivery was another objective of Stockton Borough Council.

To ensure the people of Stockton gain from the bridge and the construction works as much as possible, a commitment was made by Balfour Beatty to use local skills, thus bringing work to the area.

Local subcontractors and suppliers were hired including steel fabricator Cleveland Bridge & Dorman Long as well as a local concrete aggregate supplier and local lighting contractor.

Balfour Beatty said: "The collaborative approach was critical, bearing in mind this was a highly challenging, unique structure.

"This required sufficient flexibility to allow innovation to flourish while set within the framework of a target cost contract.

"High importance was placed on encouraging key people to take ownership of the programme and budget, and to deliver the project objectives."

Highly commended: Morgan Ashurst plc for Freeman’s Quay, Durham.

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