Ferrovial Construction joint venture wins Innovation in Design award for Silvertown Tunnel project


SILVERTOWN wins Innovation in Shaft Design & Construction Category at the NCE Tunnelling Awards

The Ferrovial Construction joint venture Riverlinx has been recognised by the New Civil Engineer Tunnelling Awards for its Innovation in Shaft Design & Construction on the Silvertown Tunnel project in London.

Riverlinx CJV, a partnership between BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Construction and SK Ecoplant, beat stiff competition to win the award for its Secant Bored Pile Peanut Shaft design and construction which launched the UK’s largest tunnel boring machine earlier this year.

Riverlinx CJV, working closely with Ferrovial’s Engineering Services department and BAM Wayss & Freytag, developed this solution in response to the need to avoid anchors to the ground due to land right constraints in the project location. The design allowed the shaft to be built using secant piles which is the first time in the UK for a peanut shaft. Other alternatives such as D-walls were incompatible with the existing obstructions for the project or with the available supply chain (hydro mill not available in the UK).

As part of the innovative implementation, the team conducted a feasibility assessment in conjunction with the existing concept design, looking at various worldwide solutions and investigating their viability in the UK. The solution found was unique to previous UK constructions as it combined four shafts of 21.2m diameter connected through the key T-shaped counterfort structures. This structure required no external ground treatment or ground anchors.

Juan Angel Martinez, Project Director: We are enormously proud of the solutions we are designing and constructing for the Silvertown Tunnel project and of the team we have to deliver them. Winning this award at the NCE Tunnelling Awards is an important recognition of this work. This scheme will benefit London and the UK greatly on a socio-economic level and we continue to be committed to completing this project responsibly, sustainably and to the highest level of safety and quality.

Jose Luis Rodriguez Sanchez, Engineering Manager, Riverlinx CJV: The Silvertown Tunnel is a complicated project due to geographical and geological complexities. The solutions we are implementing are best in class, pioneering for the UK market, and will ensure the scheme is expertly delivered in the most efficient and quality-driven way. Receiving this recognition for the design and construction teams is very welcome!

Judges’ statement: Riverlinx has overcome a significant challenge. Use of tried and tested solutions in an alternative context to meet a project brief – mitigating significant ground risk.

NCE editor Claire Smith said: “I’d like to congratulate everyone who made it onto our shortlist for the 2022 awards – the entries this year show that we are an industry that is building better solutions than ever before and adapting to the changing needs of society. We are using innovative solutions to improve the carbon efficiency of our work, reduce safety risks and boost wellbeing and putting new technology into action.

“Our winners this year have set the bar high for the industry and demonstrate the skill and commitment of those working on the projects. The range and breadth of the projects and initiatives also showcase to society the critical role tunnelling plays in building resilient infrastructure that drives economic growth.”

Now in its 12th year, the prestigious NCE Tunnelling Awards celebrate and reward projects, teams and organisations, helping to drive excellence in the tunnelling industry.

The Silvertown Tunnel is a new 1.4km twin-lane road tunnel under the Thames, linking North Greenwich and Silvertown, which will help to reduce chronic congestion and improve public transport links. The client, Transport for London (TfL), awarded Riverlinx the contract for financing and overseeing the design, build and maintenance of the Silvertown Tunnel in 2019.

The Riverlinx CJV (Construction Joint Venture) is contracted by Riverlinx to complete the design and construction works.


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