EDINBURGH tram line builder Bilfinger Berger was today among winners of the prestigious Saltire Society civil engineering award for the M80 upgrade, which was completed early and on budget.
The German company, which largely won a bitter and protracted wrangle with Edinburgh City Council over the tram project, was the major contractor for completing the “missing link” on the Glasgow-Stirling motorway.
Half of the £320 million scheme opened six months early in 2011, while Edinburgh’s £776m tram line is due to be completed at least three years late and hugely over budget.
The judges commended the “ingenuity and enterprise of the project team in overcoming challenges involving a series of complex structures, highway construction and geo-technical issues.”
Bilfinger Berger and fellow contractors Graham and Farrans Construction built the 11-mile road on behalf of the Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency.
Transport minister Keith Brown said: “I am delighted that the M80 Stepps to Haggs has been selected for this year’s Saltire Award for civil engineering scheme against tough competition from a number of other excellent projects across Scotland.
“The M80 project demonstrates a creative and resourceful approach to delivering a technically-complex project in challenging circumstances whilst ensuring that one of Scotland’s strategic transport corridors operated effectively, maintaining essential connections for both businesses and local communities.”
Previous winners include the Kessock Bridge in Inverness, the Falkirk Wheel and the Clyde Arc - the so-called “Squinty Bridge” - in Glasgow.