Freyssinet was awarded the Processes and Techniques Prize for its revolutionary ElevArch® technique at the VINCI 2017 Innovation Awards final ceremony in Paris on 7 December.
Selected from a shortlist of 19 winning regional innovations from VINCI Group companies around the world, members of the ElevArch® team – Kevin Bennett, Chris Meade, Graham Povey and Bill Harvey received the award from VINCI Vice-President Bruno Dupety.
The innovative, multi-award winning ElevArch® method is a pioneering technique for vertically jacking masonry arch bridges, and is designed to minimise intrusion to the rail environment compared to other techniques, significantly reducing cost, time and resources.
The judging panel liked: “…the audacious challenge accepted by Freyssinet’s UK teams that involved raising the arch of an old masonry bridge… a revolutionary method for modifying the structure of an existing heritage bridge that opens up development perspectives.”
The international award comes after Freyssinet won the Grand Prize for ElevArch® in the UK and Ireland round of the VINCI Innovation Awards in September.
The recognition follows three years of hard work and dedication by the team, who devised the method as part of RSSB’s Innovation Programme for The Avoidance of Bridge Reconstruction. With funding and support from RSSB and Network Rail, the technique was successfully trialled in October 2016 during a live demo in front of 120 guests, as a 161-year-old, 220 tonne masonry arch bridge in Buckinghamshire was lifted by 900mm using ten 50 tonne jacks.