Jackfield Stabilisation Project wins major regional award

Telford & Wrekin Council is celebrating after its Jackfield Stabilisation Project won the top prize at the Institution of Civil Engineering (ICE) Awards last night.

The £17.6m project has successfully stabilised the south bank of the River Severn in Jackfield, meaning local residents, businesses and tourist attractions are now protected from potential landslips.

It won the Geotechnical award category at last night’s awards ceremony at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham and was also declared overall winner out of 26 projects across the West Midlands, as well as projects from as far afield as New Zealand and Turkey

The Jackfield Stabilisation Project now goes through as the regional entry for the ICE People's Choice national award to be judged by public vote in November 2017.

The entries were judged by a panel of chartered civil engineers, chaired by former ICE West Midlands Chair, Mark Downes. 

Yvonne Aust, ICE West Midlands Chair 2016-17, ICE President Professor Tim Broyd and special guest, Professor Iain Stewart, presented the awards at a ceremony during a black-tie dinner attended by over 300 guests.

Mr Downes said of the Jackfield Stabilisation Project: “This is an outstanding solution to a problem of historic slope instability with great geotechnical complexity.

“By stabilising this hillside which has been moving for hundreds of years, not only has the local community been protected, but also the works helped to protect Ironbridge Gorge, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, for future generations.”

Judges thought Jackfield to be an “outstanding project which solves a large, longstanding and geotechnically complex problem.”

The project saw the hillside at Jackfield stabilised with nine rows of reinforced concrete piles and a comprehensive drainage system.  

The riverbank was reprofiled and reinforced with a row of mini-piles and large revetment stones.  A new road was built to allow access for residents and business and part of the Severn Valley Way reconstructed with new footpaths and seating facilities. 

Angie Astley, Telford & Wrekin Council’s assistant director for Neighbourhood and Customer Services, said: “I am delighted that such an ambitious and innovative project which had the protection of residents and their properties in Jackfield at its heart has won a major award from such a prestigious body as the ICE. 

“It is also very much an honour for us to be representing the West Midlands as the regional entry in the ICE’s national awards later this year.” 

The awards recognise excellence and innovation in civil engineering across the region and beyond. 

High-flying young engineers – including Telford & Wrekin Council’s Gareth Rushton (see separate press release) – and teams who demonstrated superb communication skills, dedication and commitment to their studies, and made a significant contribution to their profession, were also celebrated at the awards.