Triple success for River Nene scheme

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Rive Nene, Peterborough

A scheme on which Team Van Oord was principal contractor has now been recognised in three separate and quite different industry awards schemes.

The River Nene Infrastructure Improvements project, which was completed in September 2011, was carried out on behalf of the Environment Agency, with part-funding from Peterborough City Council. It was delivered by Team Van Oord working in partnership with Halcrow.

The scheme has won a Considerate Constructors Award and been Highly Commended in both the 2012 Waterways Renaissance Awards and 2012 Association for Project Safety National Awards.

The site of the works is located downstream of Orton Lock and Sluices on the River Nene within Nene Park in Peterborough city centre, an area much used by pedestrians and river users.

The site is renowned for staging national canoe slalom events, but when a section of sheet piled riverbank failed, canoeists and boaters were forced to use a pontoon, accessed down a steep grass bank, as a temporary measure.

The scheme has replaced 120m of failed sheet pile wall while managing to incorporate a purpose built canoe access, a new landing stage, disabled access, and a 48-hour mooring facility for pleasure craft. In doing so it has provided safer access and better facilities for more than 1,200 registered boaters and an enhanced river environment for 10,000 local residents.

The location of the site in such a popular recreational area posed challenges to the project team. Access, for plant and equipment as well as personnel, was via a heavily trafficked public footpath in Nene Park and an active railway line.

On top of the normal busy river usage, a national canoe event featuring a white water slalom course across the weir was able to go ahead during the life of the scheme.

The project was highly commended in the 2012 Association for Project Safety (APS) Awards, Engineering Project of The Year category.

The APS Awards judges said: “The project demonstrated collaborative working with both the Environment Agency and the canoe event management team. Working around the water users required personal commitment, a high level of pedestrian management and there was good evidence of effective hazard elimination through innovative design solutions.”

The project also received a Considerate Constructor Scheme Award in recognition of the site team’s commitment to safe and successful delivery of the scheme in a busy location, and of the high standards maintained on site throughout the project.

The scheme was also commended in the 2012 Waterways Renaissance Awards, Partnership Category. This category recognises projects which exemplify strong partnership working, and that have been led through co-operative arrangements between the public, private and community sectors, with each contributing to the overall outcome.

Tony Camilleri, Team Van Oord said: “The project team deserve tremendous credit for the way in which they delivered this scheme on behalf of the Environment Agency.

“On every project we and our supply chain commit to the principles of Safety is Paramount, the Environment Agency’s SHE Code of Practice.

“It is gratifying that our efforts have been recognized in these three separate industry awards schemes.”

17 October 2012