Excellence Awards Spotlight: Local Authority Engineering Initiative Award

Excellence Awards Spotlight: Local Authority Engineering Initiative Award

23 October 2019 at 09:49

The Excellence Awards Spotlight series showcases and celebrates each engineering project, organisation, third-level institute and engineering leader shortlisted for the 10th annual Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards, held in association with ESB. Today, the Excellence Awards spotlight series focuses on the Local Authority Engineering Initiative Award.

Sponsored by Colas Bitumen Emulsions, the Local Authority Engineering Initiative Award is open to all local authorities to enter an engineering-led initiative which benefits the community in which it has been introduced.

The five initiatives shortlisted for the 2019 Local Authority Engineering Initiative Award are:

  • Clare County Council Engineers to the Fore! Preparing for the Irish Open in Lahinch by Clare County Council
  • Mary Elmes Bridge by Cork City Council, Keating and Arup
  • East Tip Haulbowline Island Remediation Project by Cork County Council, RPS, PJ Hegarty & Sons and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
  • Skibbereen Flood Relief Scheme by Cork County Council, supported by the Office of Public Works, and in partnership with RPS and Jons Civil Engineering
  • Kilkenny StreetLight LED Retrofit Pilot Project by Kilkenny County Council in partnership with 3cea (3 Counties Energy Agency) and Hayes Higgins Partnership

Congratulating those shortlisted, Liam Henry, Chief Operating Officer at Colas Ireland, said: “Colas Bitumen Emulsions is delighted to support the Local Authority Engineering Initiative Award.  At Colas, we are committed to innovation and excellence and we are pleased to support a category which showcases exceptional engineering talent and innovative projects that have been completed by Local Authority teams across Ireland. I would like to offer my congratulations to each of the shortlisted Local Authorities and project teams and I look forward to announcing the winner at the Excellence Awards ceremony on 15 November.”

The Local Authority Engineering Initiative Award is just one of 13 category awards which will be presented at the 2019 Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards, sponsored by ESB.

Established in 2010 to showcase and celebrate engineering innovation and excellence, 2019 will mark the 10th anniversary of the awards.

To view each shortlisted category in detail and to cast your vote for top engineering project of 2019, visit: http://www.engineersireland.ie/Awards.aspx

Shortlisted Projects

Clare County Council Engineers to the Fore! Preparing for the Irish Open in Lahinch by Clare County Council

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Following the announcement that the 2019 Irish Open was to be held in Lahinch, Clare County Council immediately set about ensuring that no stone would be left unturned in showing what Lahinch, West Clare and County Clare had to offer. 

With a potential global audience of 500 million watching on TV and crowds of 100,000 expected on the ground, the village and surrounding area underwent major infrastructural upgrading.

The Councils Engineering staff were to the fore in the planning, management, delivery and operation of almost every aspect in preparing for the event.  

Works consisted of 1km of new Rock Armour defence, designed to withstand the ravages of future Atlantic Storms and to protect the infrastructure of the town of Lahinch into the future.

Public realm works included the provision of new Public Toilet facilities, the 700m extension of the iconic Promenade Coastal Walk, newly redesigned and resurfaced Car Parks throughout Lahinch along with multiple new Pedestrian Crossings as part of an overall Pedestrian management system which delivered on the vision of making Lahinch Village a universal access pioneer.

Mary Elmes Bridge by Cork City Council, Keating and Arup

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On the 17th May 2019 the 165-tonne Mary Elmes Bridge was lowered into place across the north channel of the River Lee between Merchant’s Quay and St Patrick’s Quay to become the 31st bridge in the city.

The 67m long steel structure was brought in sections from Carlow to Cobh where it was re-assembled, welded and painted. A demanding marine logistics operation was then undertaken to float the structure on a custom-designed modular barge from Cobh to the city quays in Cork and then under both the Brian Boru and Michael Collins bridges. The operation culminated in a tandem crane lift which positioned the structure in its final location spanning the River Lee.

It is expected the bridge will carry up to 11,000 pedestrians and cyclists daily between the Victorian Quarter and the city centre. Cork City Council have estimated that the bridge will be used by 3.9 million people a year.

This project from its inception, through design, planning, construction and finally installation demonstrates how close collaboration between the local authority, designer and contractor can produce something that truly represents engineering excellence.

East Tip Haulbowline Island Remediation Project by Cork County Council, RPS, PJ Hegarty & Sons and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

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The remediation of the East Tip on Haulbowline Island has seen 650,000m3 of steelworks waste, a negative legacy of the Island’s industrial past, transformed into a magnificent public recreational amenity for the beneficial use of local residents, the local workforce and visitors alike (www.magnifly.ie/thejourney).  With Haulbowline’s history as the location of the only steelworks ever to operate in Ireland this was a unique journey fraught with many challenges. It required the application of innovative and bespoke engineering solutions from project initiation through to completion.

Delivered comfortably under budget the project provides a template for the successful delivery of public sector projects. Considering the extensive contractual risks presented by the uniqueness of the site, nature and characteristics of the waste material and location within Cork Harbour this is a significant achievement.

The project is a true testament of the power of civil and environmental engineering to lift the human spirit. Cork Harbour has been transformed by the remediation of the East Tip and it is a landmark project for excellence in Irish engineering and its positive impact on society.

Skibbereen Flood Relief Scheme by Cork County Council, supported by the Office of Public Works, and in partnership with RPS and Jons Civil Engineering

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The market town of Skibbereen in west County Cork has been the victim of significant flooding over many years.  Most notably in recent years the flood events of November & December 2009 caused widespread damage and hardship. 

In response to this risk the Office of Public Works and the project team led by Cork County Council delivered a €33M flood relief scheme. The completion of this scheme in 2019 sees the implementation of the final phase of a comprehensive urban infrastructure strategy initially conceived in the 1980s.  This ensures that the town now has key transportation, waste water and drainage infrastructure to facilitate sustainable growth, minimise environmental risk and promote investment into the future. The scheme will reduce flood risk for inhabitants and businesses in line with best practice, facilitate future amenity walks and public spaces along the river banks and enhance the public realm in the town centre. The flood relief scheme was designed by RPS and constructed by Jons Civil Engineering in accordance with strict Safety, Engineering and Environmental standards.

Kilkenny StreetLight LED Retrofit Pilot Project by Kilkenny County Council in partnership with 3cea (3 Counties Energy Agency) and Hayes Higgins Partnership

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Kilkenny County Council currently has a stock of over 11,000 streetlights. By the end of 2019, almost 55% of this street-lighting will be retrofitted with energy efficient LED lanterns reducing the annual lighting energy consumption by 50-70% which is key to achieving the Council’s 33% energy reduction target by 2020.

Kilkenny County Council’s participation in a three-year European Project entitled Streetlight EPC, directly led to the delivery of the Kilkenny Streetlight LED Retrofit pilot project in 2017, kick starting the ongoing energy efficiency retrofit of streetlighting, utilising the energy savings costs and grant aid to fund the works.

This resulted in:

  • Annual saving in excess of €150,000 for the lighting energy bill
  • Substantial C02 emission reductions and reduced maintenance costs

The success of the pilot project has allowed Kilkenny County Council to continue on its sustainability journey providing a catalyst for other Local Authorities to follow. It has enhanced the Council’s efforts to embed sustainability and energy efficiency into the organisation, encouraging the development of further projects including building energy retrofits comprising insulation improvements, heating upgrades and internal lighting.