Beauly-Denny wins civils award


The controversial scheme to run overhead transmission lines 220 kilometres from the Highlands to the central belt has won the prize for the Greatest Contribution to Scotland at the Saltire Civil Engineering Awards.

The project to link Beauly in the north with Denny shared top honours with the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements scheme which landed the Infrastructure Award.

This year’s awards attracted 15 entries and included harbours, bridges, motorways, distilleries, hydro schemes and power cabling, railways, public spaces, sports centre and flood protection schemes.

The Beauly-Denny line (pictured) helps transport electricity from wind farms and other renewable energy schemes to consumers across the UK and has doubled the renewable energy capacity of the network. Judges recognised its importance in securing Scotland’s sustainable energy future and contributing to decarbonising electricity generation in Scotland.

On the roads, the M8 M73 M74 project completed the missing link in the central belt motorway network. The £500m scheme combined the construction of a new motorway with upgrades to three of the busiest arterial motorways in the country. Judges commented:

Commended in the same category was the Glasgow Subway modernisation. While most of the city was sleeping, up to 150 workers were modernising and strengthening the 120-year-old Victorian tunnels. Work was carried out over 4½ hours every night, re-opening the subway each morning.

The Community Award went to the Cuningar woodland park and footbridge in Glasgow; the Building Award to Edinburgh Gateway; the Environmental Award to Selkirk flood protection scheme; and the Designed in Scotland Award was won by AECOM in Glasgow for its work on the Stockholm Bypass.


A section of the M8 M73 M74 scheme. Picture: Peter Devlin


Ainslie McLaughlin, convener of the judging panel, said: “The complexity and challenges faced in delivering the Beauly-Denny and M8 M73 M74 projects make them very worthy winners. Constructing a power line in remote, inhospitable and environmentally challenging terrain, whilst maintaining safety and quality standards, shows a great expertise and dedication.

“The construction and management of the M8 M73 M74 also required real skill and ingenuity to minimise disruption on the busiest roads in Scotland. Partnership working produced real synergies in this large and complex project.”



Article posted 24/10/2017

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