A multi-million pound railway project, from an investment by Network Rail, to maintain a vital link between Newport and Gloucester stations has won an award at this year's Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) South West Civil Engineering Awards.
The project was put in place to protect the line that connects Gloucester to Newport which faces regular damage due to extreme weather conditions — affecting tracks along the bank of the Severn Estuary, leading to line closures and causing disruption to passengers and freight trains carrying crucial goods for businesses.
Scooping the Resilience Award, phase one of the £25 million Severn Estuary Resilience Programme removed 15,000 tonnes of debris and material near Lydney in the Forest of Dean, leading to the installation of a mesh and bolt system on to the slopes to prevent further dangerous damage.
Vegetation works were also completed as part of the scheme, to proactively minimise the impact on protected species within the affected areas — carbon efficiency was also improved with the installation of 100 per cent solar powered lighting and cabins.
Judges felt that the strategy showcased the true meaning of resilience, by futureproofing a rail route for local communities, while overcoming logistical challenges such as large earthwork cuttings and battling working conditions of 35-degree heat.
ICE represents engineering industries across the globe, with its south west awards recognising achievement of professionals within the region.
South west regional director for ICE, Miranda Housden said: 'The ICE South West Civil Engineering Awards 2023 showcased a strong field of entries, marking a competitive year that underlines the region's depth of expertise and achievement.
'These amazing projects are taking on some of our most significant regional challenges. And with the talent of our apprentices and graduates, the future for civil engineering in the south west looks very promising.'
The work is scheduled to continue until 2026.