The Concrete Repair Association has shortlisted three projects for the CRA Repair & Refurbishment Award, due to be announced by Strictly Come Dancing star Anton du Beke at the Concrete Society Awards Dinner in London on 20 November.

Three projects were shortlisted from entries received from members of Concrete Repair Association. They include Currall Lewis & Martin Construction (CLM) for the for the M6 Bescot Viaduct project;  Sika for the Howdon SWT project;  and a joint Alliance formed by Concrete Repairs Ltd (CRL) and VolkerLaser (VL) to work on the M5 Oldbury Viaduct.

The judging panel declared:

“All of the entries to this year’s Award highlighted how complex project needs can be met through collaboration and innovation. The CRL and VolkerLaser Alliance demonstrated how genuine collaboration and sharing of learning and resources can lead to outstanding achievements.

“CLM also demonstrated how complex delivery challenges can be overcome through a collaborative approach and we commend the key initiatives they introduced. We were also particularly impressed with Sika’s use of innovative materials to provide a cost effective solution for the client.”

Currall Lewis & Martin Construction was shortlisted for the M6 Bescot Viaduct project. The R185 Concrete Repairs and Cathodic Protection project was awarded to CLM by Kier Highways. It formed an ongoing repair strategy for the Midland Links Motorway Viaducts, which involved the repair of four bents, including two half-joints. The condition of the bents had deteriorated to an extent which meant intervention was essential.

The project involved extensive concrete repairs, gutter replacement, drainage maintenance, deck beam painting and long-term preventative maintenance in the form of cathodic protection on some of the M6’s largest concrete supporting bents.

Complex delivery challenges were overcome by outstanding performance coupled with a proactive, innovative and collaborative approach. A robust one-way system and transport plan was designed and implemented to ensure safety for the scheme which involved working adjacent to 25,000-volt rail lines. Collaborative planning and negotiation were critical to achieving the works.

Sika was shortlisted for its Howdon Sewage Works project in Tyneside, which is one of the largest sites on England’s east coast, serving more than 1 million homes. A fast-setting repairs programme featuring a ‘bacterio-static effect’ solution was required to eliminate signs of corrosion and ensure the facility’s vital concrete infrastructure remained operable.

The project demonstrated how innovative materials can help facilitate the needs of a complex site, while causing minimal disruption during the refurbishment works. It also highlighted best practice for specifying and implementing a repair strategy for the client, to protect their assets for the longest time possible and providing a total corrosion management system rather than a one-off repair.

The final shortlisted project was the M5 Oldbury Viaduct which involved an Alliance formed between Concrete Repairs Ltd (CRL) and VolkerLaser (VL). The project – thought to be the largest concrete repair project ever carried out in the UK – involved essential repair work to the concrete decks, deck ends and cross-head beams on a 1.8 mile (3.2km) long elevated section to the west of Birmingham.

The main challenge presented by the project was the sheer scale of the works, which required a level of management of the site and the human and mechanical resource within a very tight timescale and at high financial risk. The Alliance was praised for the genuine collaboration and innovative methodology developed which enabled the sharing of learning, resources, materials and plant.

By forming the Alliance these two large contractors were able to demonstrate the strength, skills and expertise of the two parties coming together, allowing the project to be delivered on time with minimal disruption, despite its size and complexity.

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