On Thursday 10 June, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) held this years EastMidlands Awards Ceremony (EMMAs), which took place online due to the pandemic.

The annual awards are presented to the teams that have delivered some of the best civil engineering projects across the East Midlands region.

For the 2021 awards, the judges recognized projects in the following categories:

Large Project (>£10m)
Medium Project (£2-10m)
Small Project (<£2m)
Sustainability Award

Winning both the Large Project Award and Sustainability Award was the Boston Barrier Scheme, submitted by the Environment Agency, BAM Nuttall & Mott MacDonald Joint Venture. It was also commended in the Team Achievement category.

The Boston Barrier is one of the biggest civil engineering projects the town has ever witnessed, with over £100million invested to better protect over 14,000 properties from tidal flooding.

Now fully operational, the barrier that was fully funded by the Government Flood Defence Grant in Aid provides Boston with one of the best standards of flood defence outside of London.

Commenting on the winning project, the judges recognised the ability of the scheme to deliver economic benefits of over £1.1bn, including significant protection to local infrastructure assets, including the A16 trunk road, the Boston to Skegness railway, the port of Boston, the local electricity sub-station and emergency services.

The judges applauded the use of digital delivery, which was at the heart of the project. The 3D BIM modelling was key to coordinating the design integration between permanent works, temporary works and the barrier gate installer. The project impressed the judges with its full range of inspection and maintenance activities, which were also simulated, leading to significant design changes.

In conferring the Sustainability Award the judges applauded the delivery teams approach, which was underpinned by the United Nationssustainability principles: The Boston Barrier is a great example of how to deliver sustainability throughout a project addressing the UNs goals for a nation more resilient to climate change.

The UNs 17 Sustainable Development Goals offer a blueprint for addressing global challenges, including climate change, inequality, poverty and environmental degradation.

The A46/Anstey Lane project in Leicester was the winner of the Medium Project Award (£2-10m), which was submitted by Galliford Try and delivered for project partners, Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council, Highways England, Waterman Aspen and Midlands Highway Alliance.

To accommodate the planned developments for the Anstey and Beaumont Leys areas of the city, infrastructure upgrades were required to ensure that local economic growth could take place without adversely affecting traffic flows in and around Leicester.

Leicestershire County Council established the delivery team through the early contractor involvement stage, leading seamlessly to the construction phase whilst maintaining the same team to deliver the infrastructure upgrades required for Anstey Lane, Bennion Road and the A46 gyratory.

In conferring the award, the judges applauded the use of local suppliers within a 20-mile radius, which helped drive local employment. The project was delivered on time, despite COVID-19 restrictions, and under budget. The judges were impressed with the £2.2million in social value terms generated by the project and the engagement of 180 local students at various STEM events.

In the Small Project category the winning project was the A17/A153 Rugby Club Junction, in Sleaford, which was submitted by Eurovia.

Delivered for project partners, Lincolnshire County Council, North Kesteven District Council and Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the A17 improvement scheme was part of a wider programme of highways improvements.

The A17 one of the main arterial routes linking Lincolnshire with Norfolkwas frequently congested and had one of the highest rates of fatalities in the country. The improvement programme was designed to reduce congestion, make the road safer and improve journey times through the area.

This project included the installation of ten new traffic signals, 4,500 tonnes of material excavated, over half a mile of new kerbing, 2½ miles of new white lining, 21 new street lighting columns and five new pedestrian crossings.

In conferring the award, the judges commended the project that has helped to improve road safety and provide a safer environment for pedestrians. The judges applauded the projects use of digital technologies and the traffic management phasing plan, whichallowed for the establishment of safe working areas with segregation between live traffic and construction workers. The site was recognised as a Considerate Constructor site, achieving a Certificate of Excellence.

Commenting on this years awards, ICE East and West Midlands Regional Director, Jo Barnett, said: Congratulations to all our 2021 East Midlands Merit Awards entrants — the standard this year was, as always, extremely high.

“Our annual awards play an important role in not only demonstrating the importance of our civil engineers, but also in celebrating the positive impact that civil engineering has on our everyday lives. I am delighted that despite a difficult year for everyone, our civil engineers continued to safely deliver inspiring projects in often challenging circumstances.