It was a short but highly complex length of mined highway tunnelling on the island of Hong Kong that took the top prize at the seventh UK tunnelling awards ceremony held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London, in December 2016.
Consultant AECOM Asia and construction contractor China State Construction took the prize for the Tunnelling Project of the Year of more than US$500 million after submitting and entry in the category for their Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter Section contract on the Central–Wan Chai Bypass highway tunnel project in Hong Kong. The rock splitting method was used as an alterative to dis-allowed drill+blast to excavate the trinocular 50m wide x 11m high, six-lane dual-carriageway road tunnel with a slip road entrance ramp heading in between through hard granite rock and directly beneath the entrance portal of the first cross-harbour immersed tube highway tunnel.
The same project was awarded a highly commended award in the same category of the 2016 Tunnelling Awards of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Tunnelling Association (ITA) in Singapore in November 2016. AECOM also received a highly commended recognition for the same category in the UK tunnelling awards series for its entry as engineer on the Second Avenue Subway project in New York City.
The awards ceremony in London was attended by key UK tunnelling clients, including London Underground, Crossrail, HS2 and Tideway, and was supported by the Institution of Civil Engineers and the British Tunnelling Society. The judging panel of specialists representing clients, consulting engineers and contractors, selected winners that excelled within the 14 award categories and in doing so recognised further achievements from across the world as well as in the UK.
Young Tunneller of the Year was awarded to Senthil Nath GT of Geoconsult Asia Singapore. From a list of nine strong contenders Nath said, when accepting his award and to the 450 awards ceremony audience: "I am very proud to win this award and would like to thank all my friends, colleagues and especially my employer for the support".
Nath, aged 30, is a senior engineer with more than eight years of experience in handling diversified geotechnical projects and has a second level Masters qualification as endorsed by the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association, in tunnel engineering. Mentor Dr Oskar Sigl, Managing Director and Partner of Geoconsult Asia Singapore, recognised the potential of the young tunneller and said “I am pleased to follow his success. He now has experience in major infrastructure projects including TBM and SEM/NATM tunnels, deep foundation and support systems for urban developments, site supervision and design management.”
The Global Tunnelling Team of the Year award went to FCC-led FAST Consortium, which was also shortlisted for the Community Engagement award and the more than $500 million Tunnelling Project of the Year award. The Award was granted following the successful completion of tunnelling works on the Yellow, Green and Purple Lines of the Riyadh Metro. In their comments the judges said that the consortium “excelled” in the way it has forged a 9,500 strong team out of individuals representing 42 nationalities and speaking 22 languages. They added that the speed of mobilisation demonstrated by FAST was “incredible”.
The FAST Consortium, comprised of FCC (Spain), Samsung C&T (Korea), Alstom (France), Strukton (The Netherlands), and Freyssinet (Saudi Arabia), is responsible for delivering Package 3 (Yellow, Green and Purple Lines) of theRiyadh Metro. It was the first of the three consortia delivering the six lines, 85 stations, and a total 176km metro network, to commence tunnelling works and the first to finish. At peak, its TBM tunnelling operations reached progress rates of up to 45m/day.
“Being recognised by the industry as the Global Tunnelling Team of the Year shows how effectively and efficiently all members of the FAST Consortium are working together under a single strategy,” said Jaime Freyre, FCC VP for Europe & the Middle East. “What we have achieved so far is a testament to the commitment of the team, as well as the involvement of Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) and the engagement of the local community.”
The other categories and their winners are:
|Community Engagement Award
Dragados, DSJV C305 Crossrail Eastern Running Tunnels, UK
|Design Innovation of the Year
Nicholson Construction, Bessac and Arup, Norris Cut utility relocation project, USA
|Ground Investigation and Monitoring Award
United Utilities/Murphy/Fugro: Haweswater Aqueduct - Rapid scanning condition assessment system, UK
|Product / Equipment Innovation of the Year
Alstom TSO Costain Joint Venture, Automated Tunnel Drilling Solution, UK
|Safety Initiative of the Year
Barnard Construction, Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnels - Fixed fire suppression system, USA
|Specialist Tunnelling Project of the Year
Tony Gee and Partners and Taylor Woodrow BAM Nuttall JV: District and Circle Line Underpass, Victoria Station Upgrade, London, UK
|Technical Innovation of the Year
Inbye Engineering, Strength monitoring using thermal imaging at Bond Street Station Upgrade, London, UK
|Technology Innovation of the Year
Inbye Engineering, Strength Monitoring Using Thermal Imaging (SMUTI) at Bond Street Station Upgrade
|Tunnelling Project of the Year (up to US$50 million)
J Murphy & Sons, Farnworth Tunnel, UK
|Tunnelling Project of the Year (US$50-$500 million)
Hochtief Murphy Joint Venture: Crossrail C310 Thames Tunnel, UK
|UK Tunnelling Team of the Year
Costain Skanska Joint Venture, The Bakerloo Line Link, Paddington, UK
|Tunnelling Project of the Year (more than US$500 million)
AECOM Asia and China State Construction: Central–Wan Chai Bypass highway tunnel project, Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter Section, Hong Kong
Entries are being invited for the 2017 series of the Awards.