Home of The Kelpies wins civil engineering award

The Helix won this year's Saltire Society award. Picture: TSPL
The Helix won this year's Saltire Society award. Picture: TSPL
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THE world renowned Helix Development in Falkirk has won the Saltire Society 2014 Civil Engineering Award.

Beating off competition from the SSE Hydro in Glasgow and the Kessock Bridge refurbishment in Inverness, The Helix Development, famous for its magnificent Kelpie sculptures, was announced as the 2014 recipient of the Award at Wednesday evening’s ceremony.

The award, which recognise excellence in Scottish Civil Engineering, was presented in association with Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Scotland at a ceremony at the National Museum of Scotland.

The Helix project transformed a 300-hectare site from disused scrubland into a modern urban green space connecting 26 communities with 27km of pathways with Andy Scott’s iconic Kelpie sculptures the centrepiece of the development.

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Construction on The Helix saw a 1km extension to the Forth and Clyde canal – which included the creation of an inland lock and a tidal sea lock - as well as two mechanical moving bridges and two static bridges.

Since its opening in April 2014, The Helix Development has attracted an estimated 500,000 visitors, equivalent to between 3000 and 4000 a day.

Other contenders for the award were the Dounreay Low Level Waste project, the Waverley Station refurbishment, Shore Road Bridge Reconstruction in Stirling and Glentarken Bridge bridge in the Highlands which helps walkers complete the Glen Tarken Way.

Commenting on the Civil Engineering Award and Commendations’ selections, Convenor of the Awards Panel, Gordon Pomphrey said:

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“The Adjudication Panel had no hesitation in recommending The Helix Development for the overall Saltire Civil Engineering Award 2014. In particular I feel it merits award in the Project, Design & Construction Categories. The Project involved a wide range of stakeholders from its conception and throughout the design process and provided regeneration to the area resulting in tangible benefits to the environment, local community and economy. “There is no doubt that the Kelpies have quickly become another iconic must see visitor attraction and will be an internationally recognised landmark for many years to come.”

“Congratulations must also go to the five commended projects, each one outstanding in what it has been able to achieve, brilliantly demonstrating civil engineering in Scotland at its best.”

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