Freyssinet was awarded the prestigious Grand Prize in the UK and Ireland round of the VINCI 2017 Innovation Awards, which took place at the ICE, London on 21 September.
It is the second time in a row Freyssinet has won the Grand Prize, which is awarded for an innovation that improves the group’s technical, environmental or economic performance. Freyssinet received the award for its revolutionary ElevArch® method, a pioneering technique for vertically jacking masonry bridge arches, designed to minimise intrusion to the rail environment compared to other techniques, significantly reducing cost, time and resources.
The ElevArch® team – Kevin Bennett, John Kennils, Chris Meade, Graham Povey and Bill Harvey, was presented the award by Xavier Huillard, VINCI Chairman and CEO.
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.
The VINCI Innovation Awards, which take place every two years, recognise innovative ideas and solutions developed by companies within the VINCI group. Companies from 12 regions around the world participate in the competition, submitting entries that demonstrate exceptional examples of development, design and invention.
The UK and Ireland prize-giving ceremony celebrated 12 winners selected from 167 projects, chosen by a panel of VINCI group representatives and external construction industry leaders. The winning regional innovations, including the ElevArch® entry, will now go on to compete in the grand final in Paris this December.
In 2015, Freyssinet was awarded the Grand Prize for its unprecedented application of cable stay technology, used to stabilise the Dong Siri oil platform in the North Sea.
Click here for more information about ElevArch®.