Two environmental awards for highways’ all electric road bridge repair work in Cheshire

No noisy drilling, no heavy digging as Cheshire East Council highways engineers set about repairing a badly damaged road bridge in the borough.

The team managed to carry out the whole repair project using carbon-saving super-quiet equipment and in return have been awarded an environmental award by the Green Apple organisation, plus an innovation award for the same scheme at the annual highways awards. 

The ultra-low carbon scheme involved the repair of the narrow road Marthall Lane bridge in the parish of Ollerton, near Knutsford, which was extensively damaged in a road traffic collision.

Carbon-saving measures included zero-emission battery-powered plant and electric vehicles, as well as a hydrogen and solar-powered welfare unit for operatives. Matching materials were recycled from other local schemes and the team also applied vehicle sharing to cut down on emissions. 

Deliveries were synchronised to reduce vehicle transport and it is estimated the project saved 2.3 tonnes of CO2 and £2,800 in plant and vehicle fuels.

Councillor Craig Browne, Cheshire East Council deputy leader and chair of the highways and transport committee, said: “This may be seen as a very small step, but as our highways teams switch to using more electric power, we are making a serious contribution towards our goal of becoming a carbon neutral council by 2025.

“Moving away from noisy and polluting machinery to more eco-friendly methods and technology has helped us to achieve the environmental best practice criterium, which has resulted in this award.”

Ian McLauchlan, the council’s highways bridges and structures manager, said: “It was pleasing that the low-carbon ethos was shared by all those involved in the work. From Cheshire East Council to our highways teams, stakeholders and supply chain partners, there was tremendous collaboration, which allowed us to share ideas and good practice, which I am sure will be used in future projects.”

The Green Apple Award was launched in 1994 and recognises, rewards and promotes environmental best practice around the world attracting entries from governments, businesses, regional authorities and communities. 

The bridges and structures team received the Steve Berry highways authority innovation award for the Ollerton bridge scheme because of its net-zero emissions from battery-powered machinery, electric vehicles, as well as a hydrogen and solar powered welfare unit. 

The service also picked up an award for its community work and was shortlisted for apprentice of the year.     


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