Freyssinet wins IStructE award for outstanding value

Freyssinet won the Outstanding Value award for its revolutionary ElevArch® technique at The Structural Awards 2017 on 17 November.


Bill Harvey and Kevin Bennett accept the awards on behalf of the ElevArch team

The annual awards, hosted by The Institution of Structural Engineers, celebrates the most exciting and innovative structural engineering projects from around the world.

Selected by a panel of industry experts, Freyssinet’s innovative ElevArch® method for vertically jacking masonry bridge arches was awarded the Outstanding Value accolade. The sustainable solution avoids unnecessary demolition and reconstruction for electrification schemes, minimising intrusion to the rail environment compared to other techniques and significantly reducing cost, time and resources required.

Freyssinet’s Sales & Technical Director Kevin Bennett and Bill Harvey of BHA collected the awards on behalf of the ElevArch® team. Following two years of extensive research and development, Freyssinet undertook the world’s first ElevArch® masonry bridge arch lift in October 2016. As part of RSSB’s Innovation Railway programme, a 161-year-old, 220 tonne masonry arch bridge at Moco Farm in Buckinghamshire was lifted 900mm using ten 50 tonne jacks.

The judges commented: “ElevArch® is a brilliant and innovative scheme for raising the original bridge to the required new level. The masonry is cut through at the springing of the


The ElevArch team

arch to separate it from the abutments, and the bridge is then jacked up to provide the necessary clearance”

“The scheme was developed by Freyssinet, who are experts in the jacking of heavy structures, and Bill Harvey, who is an expert on masonry arches. This is a highly cost-effective solution to the problem of increasing the clearance under masonry bridges… The value to the rail network providers is considerable given the number of sites where it can be applied.”

The ElevArch® team was also delighted to receive a Construction Innovation commendation for the technique. The judges were impressed by the potential of idea, which solves the significant logistical problems associated with increased height requirements on rail lines and recognised “this inventive system could only be realised with the engineers’ deep knowledge of masonry behaviour and lifting processes, and has the potential to extend the life of many bridges whilst dramatically reducing costs and disruption to rail services during electrification works.”

For more information on ElevArch®, email