Work to re-open the Forth Road Bridge has been voted Britain’s greatest civil engineering achievement of 2016.
Transport Scotland and Amey won the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) People’s Choice Award for their work to restore the key road link, which was briefly closed to all traffic in December 2015 and fully re-opened last February.
Nicola Sturgeon does her own selfie as the winners clutch the trophy
Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, presented the winners with the trophy at a ceremony at the ICE’s UK headquarters in Westminster.
She said: ‘This prestigious award is significant in that it was voted for by the public in their droves and saw off competition from the rest of the UK.
‘It is very fitting that the unsung heroes responsible for producing such an innovative solution under intense pressure have been recognised for their efforts. They worked tirelessly in extremely challenging weather conditions to repair and reopen the bridge.’
Andy Milner, CEO at Amey, which maintains and repairs the bridge, said: ‘The work to repair the Forth Road Bridge represented a true logistical and engineering challenge. Amey's full breadth of capability and knowledge was used to re-open the bridge ahead of schedule.’
The closure of the bridge, which carries 70,000 vehicles a day, led to a 33-mile diversion and created significant disruption.
Civil engineers worked around the clock to repair the fractured truss-end link that caused the closure. Their expertise enabled the bridge to re-open to some traffic in time for Christmas, and later for all traffic.
The repair was one of 12 nominations from across the UK that the ICE said had improved people’s lives, including protecting homes and businesses from flooding, improving the environment and helping people get from A to B faster and more safely.
Other entries included station improvements in Birmingham and Manchester, a 21st Century sewer network for London, and flood protection and wetland habitat using waste from London’s Crossrail tunnel.