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Project of the Year (between £10m-£50m): Winner

Winner: Costain – A244 Walton Bridge project

The Walton Bridge is only the sixth bridge to be built over this part of the River Thames in 265 years.

The first, captured for posterity by the painter Canaletto, survived only 33 years. Costain’s construction, in contrast, has been designed to last 120 years.

The project has been a long one. Originally tendered by Surrey County Council in 2004, main construction work didn’t get under way until 2012 – and that was after two public enquiries and a significant cut in Department for Transport funding.

Having been awarded the tender in 2005, Costain and its Atkins design team have worked closely with the client over almost a decade to bring its vision to reality.

The bridge itself carries 34,000 vehicles and 600 pedestrians and cyclists every day.

Dramatic hexagonal arches – painted a shade of ivory that can be seen by flying swans in all weathers – support a single-span deck.

Positioned upstream of the bridges it has replaced, it has not only provided a new permanent highway-loading river crossing but opened up new views of the Thames, improved river navigation via its clear span, and benefited the local habitat.

“The project manager had a phenomenal grip on this project, which was run on the basis that ‘we are going to do this absolutely superbly’”

Judges’ comment

The project has also provided better paths and cycle routes, including the refurbishment of the nearby Cowey Sale viaduct.

Innovations included a cement stabilising solution that allowed the alluvial ground on the eastern side of the river to be made hard enough to support scaffolding and crane platforms and then returned to its original state at the end of the project.

This eliminated the expensive need to excavate, remove material, import stone and then remove the stone.

The system has since been adopted as Environment Agency best practice.

The project is believed to be the first to use screw piles in a river setting to install the arches’ temporary support towers.

Costain and Mabey Bridge also worked together to save money by using a J-section for the main beams, which could be made using an automated process, but still had the same outward appearance as the box section beam specified by the client.

In over three years of construction there were no reportable accidents, lost time or environmental incidents.

Local people were engaged and informed, suppliers were chosen on the basis of quality and price rather than just cost, and the whole project team worked out of one office to fully realise the benefits of true integration – a happy client, a happy community and an iconic asset.

Highly commended: Morgan Sindall – Sellafield accommodation project, Albion Square

When Morgan Sindall won the tender to build two four-storey office buildings for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in Whitehaven, the team knew the development – and the way the project was run – were of major importance to the regeneration of the town.

The judges praised the lengths Morgan Sindall went to find and work with local supply chain partners and employees; the attention paid to health and safety; and the highly sustainable outcomes of the project, which was rated BREEAM Excellent.

It was also completed more than eight weeks ahead of programme and 11 per cent under budget.


  • Bam Construction – Barclaycard Arena (formerly the NIA) refurbishment & extension
  • Skanska Building London & South-east – 100 Cheapside
  • Skanska UK – Bath Spa University ‘Commons’
  • Vinci Construction UK – St John Bosco Arts College
  • VolkerFitzpatrick – Gatwick Airport station redevelopment

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