"THERE aren't many awards bigger or better than this when it comes to roads and bridges," said Greater Taree City Mayor Paul Hogan today.
The high spirits at council's engineering department this week are due to the big win on Friday at the 2013 Engineering Excellence awards in Newcastle, council won the prestigious regional award for work on the Marlee and Duffs Bridges.
The new spans replaced older timber bridges and were models of project management, engineering and construction. Council planned and delivered the project in partnership with engineering consultants GHD with detailed design by Cardno and Construction by Delaney Civil.
There was additional significant input from Wingham company, Regional Geotechnical Solutions.
"Council and consultants GHD have demonstrated that local councils are able to deliver quality infrastructure that provides significant benefits to the local community in an innovative and cost-effective manner," said the judges at the Newcastle Division Awards.
Nominated projects had to use sound engineering practice and principles, show quality of work and procedures used, demonstrate originality and ingenuity of the solution, provide lasting benefit to the community, and adhere to the project budget and program.
An initial assessment of the nominated projects was made to cull the list to the final top 20 which included the Hunter Expressway stage two and the Kempsey Bypass.
"Not only did the project tick all the technical boxes, there are significant benefits to the communities served by these bridges that will last many decades," said Mayor Hogan.
"Duffs and Marlee Bridges were in poor condition and load-limited. Their replacement involved complex and innovative staging and demolition techniques, including steel headstocks, precast elements and integrated temporary work designs. The virtually identical bridge replacements were achieved during planned 10-day road closures.
"Residents and transport companies were very pleased at the way the bridge replacements were performed on-time," said Ron Posselt, executive leader service delivery.
"Council delivered these projects on-time and also to the budgets we had to work with, which are both great outcomes.
"It was through the hard work of our senior leader asset planning, Duncan Clarke, that the recognition for engineering excellence was possible on Friday night.
"We are all very proud of the accomplishment and pleased to have the systems and programs in place to continue building our bridges with the same excellence into the future," said Mr Posselt.