Construction of the Squibbers Way link road in Bridgwater has landed another prestigious award for its positive impact on the town.
Somerset County Council, in partnership with main contractor Whitemountain and AECOM, won the Infrastructure South West Award at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Social Impact Awards 2020.
The winners were unveiled last week via a virtual ceremony hosted by TV presenters Phil Spencer and Emma Jesson.
The inaugural awards aim to showcase world class examples of how the built environment can have a direct positive impact on society, with other winners including the Bear Wood at the Wild Place Project in Bristol and the Penlee Lifeboat Station.
In presenting the award, Phil Spencer said: “The £18.4m Colley Lane Southern Access Road scheme was a shining example of how an infrastructure project can bring wide ranging positive impacts on the local community.
“Public engagement and consultation at all stages ensured the largely inaccessible brown-field site was fully utilised to improve commercial and residential access, relieve congestion to Bridgwater Town centre and provide benefits across the community.
“The works included: The Somerset Bridge which at 52 metres was the longest single span bridge in Somerset and was designed without piers to minimise erosion and flood risk in the River Parrett. The innovative use of 9,000 cubic metres of polystyrene instead of traditional aggregate along 300m of embankment to minimise loading on the flood plain between the river and canal. Job done, congratulations.”
Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “We’ve always been very proud of Squibbers Way but we’re still delighted to see the innovative design and delivery recognised by another body of industry experts. It was a fantastic project to work on and most importantly is providing huge benefits for the people of Bridgwater.”
Whitemountain’s Project Manager said: “It has been a privilege for Whitemountain to have delivered Squibbers Way for Somerset County Council and the people of Bridgwater.
“Squibbers Way was a fantastic project to have been involved in. It was a technically challenging scheme which required innovation and a huge effort from the whole team to deliver the project safely, on time and budget. We are very proud of our team and delighted the project has received well deserved recognition from the RICS for delivering an excellent infrastructure project. The whole delivery team went above and beyond contracted obligations, including many hours of voluntary service and fundraising to support the local community during the duration of the project.”
Mark Claridge, AECOM Regional Director, said: “AECOM have been delighted to support Somerset County Council in delivering Squibbers Way for the people of Bridgwater. This was a truly collaborative team performance. It is testament to the planning, dedication and enthusiasm of the team that the new link road was finished on time and on budget and they truly deserve the recognition from their peers and the accolade of winning the RICS Infrastructure South West Award.”
Squibbers Way was the name chosen by the people of Bridgwater for the Colley Lane Southern Access Road and opened in December with a spectacular squibbing display by Bridgwater Carnival.
This is the second major accolade for Squibbers Way after it already won the Innovation Award at the 2020 South West Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation Awards.
The project has also been shortlisted in the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) South West Civil Engineering Awards 2020. All 12 shortlisted schemes are automatically entered into the People’s Choice Award – where the public can vote for the civil engineering project which has had the greatest positive impact in their communities. The vote is still live on the ICE South West website so please vote for the Colley Lane Southern Access Road at https://www.ice.org.uk/about-ice/near-you/uk/south-west/awards/civil-engineering-awards.
Squibbers Way will now go on to represent the south west at the national RCIS Social Impact Awards in September. To view the digital awards ceremony and for more information, please visit https://www.rics.org/uk/training-events/rics-awards/rics-awards-southwest/.
You can stay up to date with Somerset County Council’s highways team by following @TravelSomerset on Twitter.