Reading Rail bridge replacement scoops engineering award

Network Rail and contractor BAM Nuttall were recognised for the job which saw a 1,000 tonne bridge slotted into place over Caversham Road over the 2011 New Year weekend.

Howard Larkin, chair of the ICE judging panel, said: “We commend the project team for their strong focus on health and safety, commitment to sustainability and the minimisation of disturbance to the environment and local community during the works, which took place in only 72 hours. This project is civil engineering at its best.”

Commenting on their success, Network Rail project director Bill Henry said: “Building a 1,000 tonne railway bridge is a massive task, especially when it carries one of the busiest bits of the country’s railway network over one of Reading’s busiest roads. The Network Rail project team and our contractor BAM Nuttall made sure we got the complex engineering right first time, minimising disruption for Reading residents, businesses and commuters.

“Our work at Reading sits at the heart of a huge engineering programme for the Great Western Main Line. We’re electrifying the route to Bristol and building Crossrail between London and Maidenhead, delivering the biggest upgrade of Brunel’s historic railway since it was built 175 years ago.”

Alan Cox, area manager for BAM Nuttall, said: “This award is recognition for the excellent team effort between Network Rail, BAM Nuttall and its supply chain, demonstrating how a partnership approach delivers benefits to everyone connected, either directly or indirectly with the project. Major undertakings such as this require considerable planning and consultation, and the award recognises the technical and practical successes achieved. Gifford as design consultants ensured efficient alternatives were delivered, and close collaboration between all parties ensured the outcome.”


The Caversham Road bridge work won the best small project (less than £5m) category at the ICE awards ceremony on 17 June. The work at New Year 2011 marked the start of a five year project to transform Reading’s railway which will see five new platforms and two new entrances at the station and a redesigned track layout to cut delays.