One of Plymouth’s biggest ever transport improvement schemes has won its third top award since opening earlier this year.
The Platinum Parkway (Forder Valley Link Road) has just been named New Build Project of the Year in the ‘over £8m’ category of this year’s Institute of Civil Engineering (ICE) South West Civil Engineering Awards, which recognise outstanding achievement, innovation, and ingenuity.
The accolade follows recent success in the Constructing Excellence South West Regional Awards (Civils Project of the Year) and the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transport South West Awards (Transportation Project of the Year).
Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, said: “We’re really pleased to have received so much recognition from both industry leaders and the public for this feat of engineering and its lasting legacy.
“The scheme was years in the planning and includes one of the largest ‘integral’ bridges of its kind in the UK, which means its maintenance requirements have been reduced significantly. But its construction hasn’t just created a much-needed alternative route between the A38 and Derriford – it brought many wider benefits to the local community.
“Eighty-five per cent of the workforce was local, £18.5m was spent with SMEs and the team building the scheme spent hundreds of hours volunteering in the local community. Over five hundred hours were invested in training students and apprentices, as well as working alongside the Prince’s Trust and Probation Alliance to help Plymouth’s long-term unemployed.
“Another of our key aims was to create much better spaces for wildlife to thrive, along with new footpaths and cycle routes to better connect residents with their local natural environment.
“An improved culvert now takes the Bircham stream under the junction, with an extra ledge built into the design to help otters and other wildlife move through the Forder Valley Nature Reserve. There is also a new ecology pond, newly planted trees and hedgerows and better-quality grasslands, as well as a number of bat and bird boxes.”
The scheme’s road bridge connects the Forder Valley Road/Novorossiysk Road junction and William Prance Road, avoiding the often heavily congested Manadon Roundabout and the A386 Tavistock Road through Crownhill.
As well as helping to reduce journey times to and from key destinations such as Derriford Hospital, the University of St Mark and St John and the Plymouth Science Park, it will help to improve bus service reliability on the A386 northern corridor and provide a direct link from the east, including the future park and ride site at Deep Lane.
It also offers new and improved routes for cyclists and pedestrians and is complemented by improvements to the nearby Forder Valley Interchange (Leigham Roundabout).
Lee Escrig, Balfour Beatty’s Area Director, South said: “This is an incredible achievement, a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team and everyone involved in the delivery of this transformative scheme.
“Platinum Parkway has truly raised the bar for infrastructure development in Plymouth, connecting communities across the city whilst also improving travel for hundreds of people each day.”